Same Day ACH Frequently Asked Questions

Updated as of September 11, 2017 - Federal Reserve Financial Services is committed to providing the answers and information you need. Answers to many of our customers' most frequently asked questions can be found using the links below.

If your question is not answered by the information provided on the site, please use this form (Off-site Link) to submit it to us. My FedDirectory® provides a comprehensive list of service and support contacts who can assist you.

For more information on the ACH Rules change providing for Same Day ACH, please see the NACHA website (Off-site Link).

Same Day ACH Implementation Phases

Government Participation

Same Day Entry Fee and Accounting

Value Limit

Returns, Notifications of Change (NOCs), Prenotifications and Reversals

Effective Entry Date

Same Day ACH Transaction Transmission and Settlement

Overall Edits and Reject Process

Value-Added Services

Advices and Balancing

Sample Scenarios (updated as of May 5, 2017)

Same Day ACH Implementation Phases

Q: What is the key difference in each of the three implementation phases?

A:

  • Phase 1 - September 23, 2016, implementation date - includes credits only with funds availability at end of RDFIís processing day.
  • Phase 2 - September 15, 2017, implementation date - includes both credits and debits with funds availability at end of RDFI's processing day.
  • Phase 3 - March 16, 2018, implementation date - includes both credits and debits with funds availability required by RDFI at 5:00 p.m. local time

Top of Page

Government Participation

Q: Will the federal government participate in Same Day ACH at any phase of implementation?

A: With the publication of a final 31 CFR Part 210 rule (Off-site Link) on September 11, the Treasury has confirmed it will participate in Same Day ACH as of Sept. 15, 2017. The Federal Reserve Banks and FedACH Services stand ready to support the Treasury in its participation.

Top of Page


Q: Will an ODFI be assessed the $0.052 Same Day Entry fee for submitting to FedACH an ACH transaction with a federal government RTN?

A: An ODFI will be assessed the Same Day Entry fee only for forward items that are actually processed and settled as Same Day ACH items, whether commercial or government.

Top of Page


Q: Are ACH returns with a federal government RTN as the ODFI or RDFI eligible for Same Day ACH?

A: Yes, the federal government's phased implementation of Same Day ACH affects forward ACH origination only. Returns will be eligible for same day settlement if they are not future-dated and are received by FedACH within one of the three processing windows for current day settlement.

Top of Page


Q: Are state government agencies participating in Same Day ACH?

A: Yes, ACH participants may originate and receive same day ACH entries to and from a state government agency.

Top of Page

Same Day Entry Fee and Accounting

Q: How is the Same Day Entry Fee collected?

A: As provided by the ACH Rules, a Same Day Entry Fee of 5.2 cents per transaction is assessed to ODFIs and credited to RDFIs to cover the RDFIs' costs of enabling and supporting Same Day ACH. The Same Day Entry Fee is collected by the ACH operators on behalf of the RDFIs and settles to ODFIs and RDFIs on a monthly basis.

Top of Page


Q: Is any portion of the Same Day Entry Fee retained by the ACH operators or NACHA?

A: No portion of the 5.2-cent Same Day Entry Fee is retained by the ACH operators or NACHA.

Top of Page


Q: Does the Fed settle Same Day Entry Fees for transactions between customers of FedACH and The Clearing House?

A: The Fed will settle the Same Day Entry Fees for all inter-operator transactions as well as intra-operator transactions where both the ODFI and RDFI are FedACH customers. The Clearing House (TCH) will settle only its intra-operator transactions (where both the ODFI and RDFI are TCH customers).

Top of Page


Q: How will customers be able to identify Same Day ACH transactions on their Federal Reserve accounting statements?

A: The origination and receipt of Same Day ACH items is separated from the non-Same Day ACH items by use of unique accounting transaction codes. Furthermore, the totals are separated by credits and debits.

Top of Page

Value Limit

Q: Is the over $25,000 value limit applied to a single item or to a batch?

A: The over $25,000 value limit applies to a single item. In all three Same Day ACH implementation phases, no single item over $25,000 will be eligible for same day settlement. Additionally, with the inclusion of ACH debits in phase 2 implementation, a $2,500 value limit will be imposed on items with an SEC Code of RCK (Re-Presented Check Entries) or XCK (Destroyed Check Entries).

Top of Page


Q: What happens if a batch submitted for same day settlement contains one or more item(s) over the value limit?

A: All items in the batch will be processed, and the item(s) over the limit will be assigned the next business day's settlement date, whereas the remaining items will receive same day settlement.

Top of Page

Returns, Notifications of Change (NOCs), Prenotifications and Reversals

Q: Are all return entries eligible for same day settlement?

A: All return entries received prior to the 4:00 p.m. ET deadline, including credits and debits, all SEC codes, all dollar amounts, both commercial and government, are eligible for same day settlement, regardless of whether the forward entry was processed as a same day entry.

Top of Page


Q: Will returns be charged the Same Day Entry Fee?

A: Whether processed and settled same day or not, return entries will not be assessed the Same Day Entry Fee.

Top of Page


Q: Can notifications of change (NOCs) be settled same day, and will they be assessed the Same Day Entry Fee?

A: NOCs, or those entries bearing the "COR" standard entry class code, are eligible for same day processing and will not be assessed the Same Day Entry Fee. Per the ACH Rules, notifications of change settle at the earliest opportunity.

Top of Page


Q: Can prenotification entries be settled same day, and will they be assessed the Same Day Entry Fee?

A: Phase 1 — Prenotification entries are eligible for same day settlement as long as they are not debit entries and do not bear the "IAT" standard entry class code. Prenotification entries will be assessed the Same Day Entry Fee.

Phase 2 — Prenotification entries are eligible for same day settlement whether they are debits or credits and do not bear the "IAT" standard entry class code. Prenotification entries will be assessed the Same Day Entry Fee.

Top of Page


Q: Are reversal entries eligible for same day settlement?

A: Phase 1 — Reversal entries are subject to the same rules as forward entries. A debit reversal file (containing credit entries) will be eligible for same day ACH settlement, and the ODFI of that reversal file will incur the Same Day Entry fee. A credit reversal file (containing debit entries) will not be eligible for same day ACH settlement, and the ODFI of that reversal file will not incur the Same Day Entry fee.

Phase 2 — Both debit and credit reversal files are eligible for same day ACH settlement, and the Same Day Entry fee will be incurred by the ODFI.

Top of Page


Q: Can a FedACH subscriber use the "Derive Returns and NOCs" function to create returns the same day a forward item settles?

A: The derived returns function within the FedLine Web access solution cannot currently be used to derive returns for Same Day ACH forward entries on the same day the forward entry settled. Current functionality does not make item-level information available until the next processing day. If an RDFI wishes to return a Same Day ACH forward entry for settlement on the same day it is received, a return file will need to be created and submitted to FedACH Services by the 4 p.m. ET deadline. Paper returns received by the 8:00 am ET deadline will settle on the same day as well.

Top of Page

Effective Entry Date

Q: How important is the effective entry date?

A: The effective entry date is critical. Assuming the file is submitted by the appropriate deadline, it is the effective entry date field that triggers same day settlement for eligible transactions. The current processing day date in the effective entry date field is interpreted as an intentional indication of the desire for same day settlement. In addition, a batch will be eligible for same day settlement whether the effective entry date field contains the current processing date, or is invalid or stale. This means that a batch could be unintentionally settled as same day, and the appropriate Same Day Entry Fee will be assessed.

Top of Page


Q: How can customers ensure items not intended for same day settlement are processed properly?

A: Customers should include a future date in the effective entry date field to ensure future-day settlement. As a reminder, per the ACH Rules, a credit entry may be dated no more than two days in the future while a debit entry may be dated only one day in the future.

Stale-dated forward entries, if submitted after 2:45 p.m. ET and prior to 2:15 a.m. ET, will not settle same day and will not be assessed the Same Day Entry Fee.

Top of Page

Same Day ACH Transaction Transmission and Settlement

Q: Will Same Day ACH transactions be included with non-Same Day ACH transactions in the outgoing file transmissions?

A: Same Day ACH items and non-Same Day ACH items may be included within the same outgoing file transmission. Separation of batches will continue to occur at the settlement date/SEC code level.

Top of Page


Q: How are file identification modifiers used for outgoing files? (e.g., the "A" file, the "B" file)

A: The file ID modifier is a unique code within each output file that begins with "A" with the first output file to an institution, and increments by a letter for each subsequent output file creation. The first file - the "A" file - will be transmitted by noon ET, and is a culmination of those entries submitted between 3:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. ET. If no entries are submitted within this first window, there will be no file distribution. Additionally, if there are too many entries processed during this window to fit into one file, a receiving institution may receive more than one file - an "A" file and a "B" file. The second delivery - or what would typically be a "B" file - will be based on the 10:30 - 2:45 p.m. processing window. If no entries are submitted within this second window, there will be no file distribution. Therefore, the output file creation is dependent upon how many entries are processed for the receiving institution during a particular processing window. One institution's "A" file may output at the same time as another institution's "B" file.

Top of Page


Q: Can a customer expect its output files to be delivered with sequential file ID modifiers (e.g., A, B, C, D)?

A: Generally speaking, output files will be delivered to customers in the order in which they are created and the file ID modifiers will be sequential. However, an exception to this will occur if the first item received and processed by FedACH after the 2:45 p.m. ET transmission window is a forward item. That forward item will trigger the creation of the "C" file (assuming that institution had received only two output files earlier in the day). A return item received by FedACH afterward will trigger the creation of the "D" file (an AJ19 file) that will be delivered to the customer before the "C" file.

Top of Page


Q: Does FedACH include an identifier to distinguish in which settlement window the transactions will settle?

A: The file transmission deadlines (10:30 a.m. ET, 2:45 p.m. ET) and same day item eligibility dictate settlement date and time. FedACH does not add a file identifier to distinguish settlement. However, the accounting and settlement codes on the Advices will separate the same day and non-same day ACH items.

Top of Page


Q: Are there any new outgoing files distributed as a result of Same Day ACH?

A: Return entries that are not future-dated and are received by FedACH between 2:45 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET will be delivered with a file APPLID of AJ19. Those return entries submitted between 2:45 p.m. ET and 3:15 p.m. ET will be delivered by 4 p.m. ET. Return entries submitted between 3:15 p.m. ET and 4 p.m. ET will be delivered in a separate AJ19 file by 5 p.m. ET. Customers will receive only one settlement advice that displays items from both AJ19 return files following the 5 p.m. ET distribution.

This "late afternoon return" service is an additional window in which RDFIs can return their ACH items; institutions are not required to use the 4:00 p.m. ET return item deadline for return submittal.

Top of Page


Q: Is an ODFI allowed to request an extension on the Same Day ACH deadlines?

A: Extensions on Same Day ACH deadlines will not be allowed.

Top of Page


Q: How does Same Day ACH impact return deadlines?

A: A return entry that is future-dated will not settle same day, regardless of submission time. A return entry that contains either a current, stale or invalid date will be considered a Same Day ACH return and settle same day if received by 4 p.m. ET.

Top of Page


Q: When will forward reject items with a current day effective date settle?

A: Regardless of the time at which the file containing the forward reject item(s) is received, the item(s) will not settle same day but will instead settle next day. FedACH processing will be modified in the 2Q2018 timeframe so that forward reject items with a current day effective date will settle on the date they are received by FedACH Services, assuming all other same day criteria has been met.

Top of Page

Overall Edits and Reject Process

Q: What will the operator process look like for editing and rejecting batches/files?

A:

  • There will be no changes to the current batch and file rejection procedures.
  • For a forward entry to be processed and settled same day, it must adhere to the following:
    • Cannot be an IAT or ENR standard entry class code
    • Cannot be a debit entry (in phase 1 only)
    • Cannot exceed $25,000 (in phase 2, cannot exceed $2,500 for RCK and XCK)
    • Input file must be received by the same day submittal deadline
    • Effective entry date field in the batch header record must not contain a future date (field may contain current, invalid, or stale date)
    • Cannot be originated from, or received by, a federal government agency (until further notice)
  • All of the above conditions must be met in order for the entry to be processed and settled same day. If an entry does not meet any ONE of the conditions, the entry will be processed, but settlement will not occur until the next business day. In this case, no Same Day Entry Fee will be assessed.

Top of Page


Q: The ACH Rules specify that an optional indicator (company descriptive date field of the batch header record) can be used by the originator to inform the ODFI of its desire to settle the batch same day. Will the operators edit this field?

A: The operators will not edit the optional same day indicator located in the company descriptive field of the batch header record. Operators will not rely on this field to determine same day eligibility.

Top of Page


Q: The ACH Rules specify that a return entry must not settle prior to the settlement of the corresponding forward entry. Do the operators ensure that this does not occur?

A: FedACH does not verify that the original forward entry has settled prior to a corresponding return entry. However, based on the ACH Rules, the return entry should be constructed using the same batch header information as the original forward entry. Therefore, the effective entry date on both the forward entry and the return entry should be the same. If the return entry is constructed correctly, the return entry will settle no sooner than the original forward entry.

Top of Page

Value-Added Services

Q: How does the FedACH Risk Origination Monitoring (FROM) Service function with Same Day ACH for transaction monitoring and risk mitigation?

A: ODFIs can set dollar thresholds at the RTN or Company ID level in the FROM Service, which, when exceeded, will result in batches pending for review and release.

  • In order to qualify for same day settlement, the ODFI must release the batch prior to the same day transmission deadline of 2:45 p.m. ET.
  • If it is released after 2:45 p.m. ET, the batch will receive next day settlement.
  • If the pended batch is not released before the end-of-day, the FROM end-of-day default will be applied at the 2:15 a.m. ET deadline. If the default is to release the batch, then settlement will occur at 8:30 am ET next business day.

Top of Page


Q: How does the FedPayments Reporter service complement Same Day ACH for reporting and reconciliation?

A: FedPayments Reporter has a variety of reports already available to assist with reconciliation and research, although no major service changes to specifically address Same Day ACH are expected in the immediate timeframe.

Top of Page


Q: How does the FedACH Risk RDFI Alert Service complement Same Day ACH for transaction monitoring and risk mitigation?

A: RDFIs can set up batch-level criteria to receive alerts at each distribution window of any batches delivered to them and settling same day.

Top of Page

Advices and Balancing

Q: Are same day forward items included on the institution advices?

A: Each time an advice is created, it reflects the dollars settling at that given settlement window. The first advice created for the day will reflect both return and forward settlement that will be available at 1:00 p.m. ET; the second advice will reflect the settlement for forward and return entries available at 5:00 p.m. ET; the third or return advice will only reflect return entries settling at 5:30 p.m. ET; the fourth advice is only for prefunded origination settlement, and the end-of-day advice will reflect those entries settling one or more days in the future that will post at 8:30 a.m. ET on the settlement date.

Top of Page

Q: Will settlement advices always agree with FedACH output files?

A: Not necessarily. Because FedACH will distribute items available for any given delivery regardless of the associated settlement time, it may be necessary to use information from multiple advices to balance to the output files received. FedACH advices will, however, always balance to the information posted in the Fedís Accounting System. For additional details on advices and balancing, please refer to the FedACH Services Settlement Tips (PDF) document posted in the Same Day ACH Resource Center.

Top of Page

 

Sample Scenarios

Example 1: A batch containing PPD entries with an effective entry date of October 1, is submitted to the ACH operator at 2:30 p.m. ET on October 19. (The batch is stale-dated.) The batch contains several credit entries and one debit entry for $12,500; one credit entry is for $96,100 and all other credit entries are under $25,000. Assuming there are no edit errors, the batch will be processed at the 2:45 p.m. ET deadline.

Outcome — Phase 1: For the eligible same day entries (the credit entries under $25,000), the output files will be distributed by 4:00 p.m. ET with settlement occurring at 5:00 p.m. ET on October 19. The credit entry for $96,100 and the single debit entry for $12,500 will be included with the 4:00 p.m. ET output file, but they will settle the next business day, October 20, at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Outcome — Phase 2: For the eligible same day entries (the credit entries under $25,000), the output files will be distributed by 4:00 p.m. ET with settlement occurring at 5:00 p.m. ET on October 19. Both credit and debit entries will be included with the 4:00 p.m. ET output file, and they will both settle the same day, October 19, at 5:00 pm ET.

Top of Page


Example 2: A batch is submitted to the ACH operator at 11:45 p.m. ET on October 4, with an effective entry date of October 3.

Outcome: Since the batch was submitted prior to the 2:15 a.m. ET deadline and is not future-dated, it will settle at 8:30 a.m. ET on October 5. No same day ACH entry fee will be applied.

Top of Page


Example 3: A batch containing CCD debit entries with an effective entry date of December 1, is submitted to the ACH operator on December 6, at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Outcome — Phase 1: Debits are not allowed. Therefore, the batch will be processed as next day, with output delivered at 12 noon ET on December 6, and settlement occurring at 8:30 a.m. ET on December 7.

Outcome — Phase 2: The batch will be processed on December 6, with output delivered at 12 noon ET on December 6, and settlement occurring at 1:00 pm ET.

Top of Page


Example 4: In phase 1, a batch is submitted at 2:00 p.m. ET on November 18, 2016, with an effective entry date of November 1, 2016. The batch contains credits only, and all are under $25,000.

Outcome: Because the effective entry date in the batch is not future-dated and the entry is submitted prior to the 2:45 p.m. ET transmission deadline, it will settle on November 18, 2016 (same day) at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Top of Page


Example 5: A batch containing PPD credit and debit entries with an effective entry date of October 14, is submitted to the ACH operator on October 15, at 9:00 a.m. ET. The credit entries are all under $25,000.

Outcome — Phase 1: The credits will settle at 1:00 p.m. ET on October 15. The debits will settle next day, October 16, at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Outcome — Phase 2: Both the credits and the debits will settle at 1:00 p.m. ET on October 15.

Top of Page


Example 6: A forward entry is submitted on October 4, at 9:30 a.m. ET, meeting the 10:30 a.m. ET same day transmission deadline. The effective entry date of the batch is September 30, (stale-dated), and it qualifies for same day settlement. It is processed and settled same day, on October 4, at 1:00 p.m. ET. The entry must be returned, so the return entry is submitted to the ACH operator on October 4, at 3:00 p.m. ET, meeting the 4:00 p.m. ET return submission deadline. The effective entry date on the return is September 30, (same as the original forward entry).

Outcome: The forward entry will settle same day (October 4) at 1:00 p.m. ET. The forward entry will incur the same day ACH entry fee. The return entry will settle at 5:30 p.m. ET on October 4. There will be no same day ACH entry fee applied to the return.

NOTE: return entries are not subject to the same requirements as are forward entries.

Top of Page


Example 7: A "balanced" file is submitted to the ACH Operator on December 7, prior to 2:45 p.m. ET. The file contains a single PPD debit entry for $12,500, and multiple PPD credit entries, when added together, equal the $12,500 debit entry.

Outcome — Phase 1: The credit entries are eligible for same day but the debit is not. Therefore, the credit entries will settle on December 7, at 5:00 p.m. ET, and the debit entry will settle on December 8, at 8:30 a.m.

Outcome — Phase 2: The single debit entry and the multiple credit entries are all eligible for same day and will settle on December 7 at 5:00 p.m. ET.

Top of Page


Example 8: An erroneous batch of PPD credits is submitted to the ACH Operator on December 7, prior to 10:30 am ET. All entries are less than $25,000. The batch is processed and settles at 1:00 pm ET on December 7, (same day). The ODFI realizes this batch was sent in error and sends in a reversal file prior to the 2:45 pm ET deadline so the entries can be reversed same day.

Outcome — Phase 1: The credit entries are eligible for same day but the debits are not. Therefore, the debit reversal entries will not settle until 8:30 am ET the next day (December 8). No Same Day Entry Fee will be assessed on the reversal file.

Outcome — Phase 2: The debit reversal entries are eligible for same day and the output will be distributed by 4:00 p.m. ET with settlement occurring at 5:00 p.m. ET on December 7. The Same Day Entry Fee will be assessed on the original credit entries as well as on the reversal debit entries.

Top of Page


Example 9: A batch of PPD credit entries is submitted on Wednesday, December 7 at 2:00 am ET, with an effective date of December 8. At 2:00 am ET, the system processing date is Tuesday, December 6.

Outcome: Since the batch is future-dated (not stale), it will settle on the effective entry date of December 8, at 8:30 am ET. No Same Day Entry Fee will be assessed.

Top of Page


Example 10: A batch of PPD credit entries is submitted on Thursday, December 8 at 2:00 am ET, with an effective date of November 28 (stale).

Outcome: The batch is stale-dated, but the entry was submitted before the 2:15 am ET deadline (not a same-day ACH deadline), so the batch will settle at 8:30 am ET on December 8, at 8:30 am ET. No Same Day Entry Fee will be assessed.

Top of Page


Example 11: A batch of PPD credit entries is submitted on Wednesday, December 7 at 10:00 am ET, with an effective entry date of November 28 (stale).

Outcome: Since the batch is stale-dated and was submitted within one of the Same Day ACH windows, it will settle at 1:00 pm ET on Wednesday, December 7. The Same Day Entry Fee will be assessed.

Top of Page


Example 12: A batch of PPD credit entries is submitted on Wednesday, December 7 at 2:00 am ET, with an effective entry date of December 8.

Outcome: Since the batch is future-dated (not stale), it will settle on the effective entry date of December 8, at 8:30 am ET. No Same Day Entry Fee will be assessed.

Top of Page


Example 13: A batch of PPD credit entries is submitted on Friday, October 6, at 4:00 am ET, with an effective entry date of Tuesday, October 10. Monday, October 9 is a holiday.

Outcome: Since the batch is future-dated (not stale), it will settle on the effective entry date of Tuesday, October 10 at 8:30 am ET. No Same Day Entry Fee will be assessed.

Top of Page


Example 14: A batch of PPD credit entries is submitted on Friday, October 6, at 4:00 am ET, with an effective entry date of October 2. Monday, October 9 is a holiday.

Outcome: Since the batch is stale-dated, it will settle on the same day, October 6, at 1:00 pm ET. The Same Day Entry Fee will be assessed.

Top of Page

Example 15: A batch containing WEB and IAT credit entries with an effective entry date of September 23, is submitted to the ACH operator on September 28, at 4:00 a.m. ET. All items are $25,000 or less.

Outcome: The WEB entries are eligible for same day as the batch was submitted prior to the 10:30 a.m. ET deadline, no entries exceed $25,000, and the effective entry date is stale, but the IAT entries are not eligible for same day. The WEB entries will settle at 1:00 p.m. ET on September 28, and the IAT entries will settle at 8:30 a.m. on September 29.

Top of Page


Example 16: A batch containing WEB debit and credit entries with an effective entry date of August 1, is submitted to the ACH operator on September 28, at 4:00 a.m. ET. All items in the batch are $25,000 or less.

Outcome — Phase 1: The credit entries are eligible for same day as the batch was submitted prior to the 10:30 a.m. ET deadline, no entries exceed $25,000, and the effective entry date is stale. The batch will be processed as same day, with output delivered by 12 noon ET. Settlement of the credit entries will occur at 1:00 p.m. ET on September 28 and settlement of the debit entries will occur at 8:30 a.m. ET on September 29.

Outcome — Phase 2: The entries are eligible for same day as the batch was submitted prior to the 10:30 a.m. ET deadline, no entries exceed $25,000, and the effective entry date is stale. The batch will be processed as same day, with output delivered by 12 noon ET and settlement occurring at 1:00 p.m. ET on September 28.

Top of Page


Example 17: A CCD forward entry is submitted to the ACH operator on May 10, at 2:00 p.m. ET with an effective entry date of May 11 (i.e., future-dated).

Outcome: Even though the CCD entry was submitted to meet the 2:45 p.m. ET same day deadline, the entry was future-dated and will settle on May 11, at 8:30 a.m. ET. No same day ACH entry fee is applied.

Top of Page


Example 18: A forward entry is processed as a next-day entry and settles on August 4, at 8:30 a.m. ET. The entry must be returned.

Outcome — Phase 1: Settlement of the return entry must occur no later than the opening of business on the second business day following settlement. Option one: return the entry same day (August 4) to settle at 5:30 p.m. ET. Submit the entry to the ACH operator by 4:00 p.m. ET. Option two: return the entry next day (August 5) to settle at 8:30 a.m. ET on August 6. Submit the entry to the ACH operator by 2:15 a.m. on August 6.

Top of Page