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First Tech simplifies exception cases with FedACH® Exception Resolution Service

First Tech Federal Credit Union (Off-site) specializes in serving people within technology-driven companies. With its innovative mindset, First Tech seized the opportunity to sign up early for the FedACH® Exception Resolution Service.

Motivating factors

Karen Lile, payment service manager at First Tech, explained how the service will benefit her organization. “I love the idea of the service,” she said. “The ability to be able to communicate with other institutions with an audit trail and a direct link to other ACH [Automated Clearing House] teams is why we wanted to sign up. It was a timesaver for my team.”

The FedACH Exception Resolution Service is designed to be just that – a timesaver. The service helps to reduce many labor-intensive processes. When both financial institutions participate in the service, it allows financial institutions to resolve an ACH exception case from open to close, including securely sharing documentation via your FedLine Web® or FedLine Advantage® Solution.

We were really struggling with faxing and things getting caught in translation. Sometimes we would send documents and the other institutions would say they did not receive them. We would call certain institutions to get cases resolved and end up on hold in customer service, so we were excited about the FedACH Exception Resolution Service.

Karen Lile

Payment Service Manager
First Tech Federal Credit Union

Getting started

When the Exception Resolution Service launched in April, all existing FedACH Information Services Subscribers were automatically enrolled in a Partial Service Participant mode. This mode allows financial institutions to only respond to ACH exception cases they receive through the service. The Full Service Participant mode provides the same functionality as the Partial Service Participant mode as well as the ability to open ACH exception cases.

Financial institutions who would like to expand to the Full Service Participant mode should have an authorized signer complete Part 6F (PDF) of the FedACH Participation Agreement. Additionally, End User Authorization Contacts (EUACs) should review their Subscribers’ roles and determine if additional individuals should be granted the “Exception Resolution Service” role.

Additional resources

More information about the Exception Resolution Service is available in the Quick Reference Guide, and detailed instructions for using the service are available under FedACH via the Training link in FedLine® Home. Please contact your account executive or FedACH and Check Services Customer Support with questions.

Note

The Federal Reserve Banks do not sponsor or endorse any of the non-Federal Reserve Bank-related products, parties or entities discussed in this publication.

  • FedACH Exception Resolution Service now open to resolve your cases
  • Fed360

    VPN Device Migration is in full swing

    The Federal Reserve Banks are committed to evolving with security and industry standards. Part of this effort is the Virtual Private Network (VPN) Device Migration project, which launched in December 2018. Since then, nearly 50% of VPN customers in scope have completed their migrations and many others have begun the migration order process.

    As previously communicated, all FedLine Advantage® and FedLine Command® customers are required to replace their current VPN devices with a more contemporary solution at no additional cost for the new device. The setup for your new VPN device will be similar to the setup for your current device, so this migration should require minimal to no changes to your environment. To help your organization complete your migration easily, be sure to review the resources and documentation available to you.

    Action Item:

    For customers that have not yet begun the migration process, we recommend that your organization review your network and firewall settings per the FedLine Advantage® VPN Device Access Requirements to help ensure continued compliance prior to your migration. This document, along with other FedLine® VPN resources and documentation, is located in the Help Center of the Connection Management Center (CMC), which your FedLine Advantage End User Authorization Contacts (EUACs) can access via FedLine Home.

    Get started

    A FedLine Advantage EUAC can submit a migration order at any point by accessing the CMC and selecting the defaulted “Migrate current VPN” option on the order screen to complete your migration order. Note that a credentialed Technical Contact at your organization can assist with completing the migration order in the CMC; however, an EUAC must start the order and submit it.

    Consider a secondary VPN device

    When your organization migrates your current device(s), you should also consider ordering additional devices as part of your business continuity plans. If your organization is a FedLine Advantage Premier customer, you can add a secondary VPN device for no additional monthly charge. For more information on contingency options, visit the FedLine Advantage and FedLine Command Business Continuity Quick Tips page or contact your account executive.

    Questions?

    Please review the VPN Device Migration Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page or contact the Customer Contact Center (CCC) with any questions about this project.

    Fed360

    Gone phishing - Tips to help protect your organization from phishing attempts

    As a part of the Federal Reserve Banks’ continuing commitment to security, we want to remind our customers of the importance of protecting their organizations against cyberattacks. Your organization should ensure your staff receive ongoing training necessary to recognize and report various types of phishing attacks.

    Phishing is a technique used by threat actors in an attempt to acquire sensitive data through a fraudulent solicitation, in email or on a website, in which the perpetrator masquerades as a legitimate business or reputable person. The financial services industry is constantly among the most targeted industries for phishing attacks. Many organizations report daily phishing attempts. It is estimated that over 90% of all successful hacking and data breach incidents originate from phishing attacks.

    Your staff must remain constantly vigilant and be continually informed of new emerging phishing scams to avoid becoming a victim. 

    What can my organization do to protect against phishing attacks?

    In accordance with Operating Circular 5, FedLine® customers and their service providers must comply with Federal Reserve Bank security standards. Follow these tips to help protect your organization against phishing attempts:

    • Educate your staff on what phishing is, how to spot it and how/where to report it when it occurs
    • Have clear and well documented policies on how to manage phishing attempts to ensure staff respond appropriately
    • When possible, use technology to aid in the identification of phishing emails though the classification of internal versus external email sources
    • Maintain contemporary anti-virus and anti-malware scanning software to offer additional protections in the event staff inadvertently click on suspicious links embedded in the body of an email
    • Stay on top of the evolving phishing tactics by consulting with your information security staff to monitor trends and adjust internal policies and procedures accordingly

    Other industry sources recommend the following best practices for mitigating the threats of phishing attacks:

    • Routinely educate and train employees, including occasional “testing” phishing exercises
    • Configure email systems to add a warning message to the header of all incoming emails delivered from external senders,  which will alert your employees to review external emails with extra scrutiny
    • Restrict or remove email and web browsing on systems routinely used for payments processing

    Action Item:

    Make sure your employees are regularly reviewing the security measures your organization has in place to protect against phishing attempts.

    SOURCE:

    National Institute of Standards and Technology (Off-site)

    Fed360

    Address change for Boston and San Francisco Board Resolution and Official Authorization List submissions

    As a reminder, customers serviced by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston should now submit completed Board Resolutions (BRs) and Official Authorization Lists (OALs) to:

    National Accounting Customer Support
    Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
    Financial Management Group
    90 Hennepin Ave
    P.O. Box 291
    Minneapolis, MN 55480-0291

    If you would like a copy of your forms reviewed prior to sending in the originals, please email/fax them to the following: 

    • Email: sys.nacs.fmg.di.support@mpls.frb.org
    • Fax: (612) 629-4218

    The BR and OAL submission process has not changed for customers serviced by the other Reserve Banks. Visit the BR and OAL Contacts page to see where you should submit your completed forms. All customers should continue to direct BR and OAL inquiries to (800) 309-6156. The National Accounting Customer Support area is available weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET.

    Fed360

    Fed Facts: A journey through our photo archives

    Last month, we looked at the progress workers have seen in the past century in the article “Fed Facts: Take a look at how far the American workforce has come.” In this month’s edition of Fed Facts, we’ll focus on how Federal Reserve employees’ everyday work has transformed through technology. We pulled the photos below from our archives to show you just how much has changed.

    1940

    Before the age of computers, the New York Fed added, endorsed and sorted checks using the Check Department's 803 machines shown below. The New York Fed got its first computer for check processing in the 1960s. Today, high-speed computers handle all aspects of check processing.

    1949

    The San Francisco Fed’s bond redemption department once used keypunch machines like the one shown below. Every bond required 37 punches. Redeemed paper savings bonds are now sent via image cash letters (ICLs) using the FedForward® Service.

    1950

    In the 1950s, financial institutions were able to receive currency at the San Francisco Fed’s window through face-to-face transfers. For security reasons, this method was discontinued, and financial institutions now use FedCash® Services via the FedLine Web® Solution to place orders for currency and coin. Armored carriers then pick up the orders.

    1953

    The New York Fed’s Markets Desk used to continuously update chalkboards with the prices of outstanding U.S. Government securities from phone conversations with dealers. Today, the entire Markets (Off-site) operation is done by computer.

    1970

    In the early 1970s, the Chicago Fed coordinated the newly established Interdistrict Transportation System (ITS), an air transport service that provided overnight delivery of checks. Our Check 21-Enabled Services now offer financial institutions the capability to send and receive ICLs electronically.

    The future of payments

    From increased security to enhanced technology, the Fed has come a long way since the days of keypunch machines and chalkboards. More than 100,000 users in nearly 10,000 organizations now leverage FedLine® Solutions for electronic delivery of payment and information services. As the electronic payments environment evolves, we continue to deliver innovative product offerings for organizations of all sizes.

    In our role as central bank, leader catalyst and payment services provider, we are committed to collaborating with a wide array of stakeholders to enhance the speed, safety and efficiency of the U.S. payment system. To learn more about our ongoing efforts toward the future of payments, visit FedPaymentsImprovement.org (Off-site).

    SOURCES:

    New York Fed Photo Gallery (Off-site)

    Chicago Fed Timeline (Off-site)

    The Twelfth District in Pictures (Off-site)