FedPayments® Reporter Service for FedACH® Services Frequently Asked Questions
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- How do I sign up for the service?
You can sign up for the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH by completing the appropriate sections of the FedACH® Participation Agreement.
- What are the fees associated with service?
Refer to the FedACH Services fee schedule for details. There are no activation fees.
These same fees apply regardless of the size of the input data, number of pages generated, type or format of the reports selected, or number of SEC codes or transactions used to generate the report.
The receiver level reports are generated by specifying a single receiver account number or multiple receiver account numbers to represent a single receiver. Early each processing morning, all of the ACH transactions for the day's activity are combined by the receiver account number(s) requested, and a single physical report file is generated. This is true even if the report file contains multiple transactions (received payment files and/or SEC codes) that result in multiple logical reports to be generated within the physical report file for the day. Similarly, originator level reports are generated by specifying a single company ID or multiple company IDs to represent an originator.
If the encrypted email option were selected to deliver the reports, the encrypted email fee would apply for each unique email queued per email address for a given ABA per day. All of the physical reports generated for a given recipient (email address) are zipped together and attached to a single email. Please note that each email queued to a unique email address generates a separate charge.
- Who pays for the service?
Fees associated with the service will appear on the Federal Reserve statement for the benefiting DFI ABA number.
- What is a "Service Participation Point"?
The Service Participation Point is a construct in FedACH services that allows a DFI to designate an electronic connection that is associated with a Federal Reserve digital certificate to be an electronic access point for the service for one or more of a DFI's ABAs that may or may not be associated with a digital certificate. The designated electronic connection and its associated ETI or RTN may belong to the DFI or to the DFI's third party processor. The Service Participation Point is completely separate from any settlement arrangements that may be in place. Refer to Operating Circular 4 (OC4) and to the FedACH Participation Agreement for additional details.
- What is a "Service Participation Point Manager"?
The Service Participation Point Manager is a third party that owns the electronic connection that a DFI has designated to be the DFI's Service Participation Point. The Service Participation Point Manager will administer the FedPayments Reporter Service on behalf of the DFI. This relationship is completely separate from any settlement arrangements that may be in place. Refer to Operating Circular 4 (OC4) and to the FedACH Participation Agreement for additional details.
- Is a digital certificate update necessary?
Perhaps. If the certificate holder already has access to any other FedACH service functions then no certificate/token changes are required. If the certificate/token enables access to other applications, for example, Cash or Checks, but not to FedACH, then a certificate update would be necessary. Updates can be easily accomplished through the DFI's End User Authorization Contact (EUAC).
General Service Questions
- Where can I locate the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH on the FedLine Web and FedLine Advantage Solutions?
The FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH can be located under the FedACH® tab for both FedLine Web and FedLine Advantage customers. The FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH links are located on the left navigation column below Risk Services.
- What is the "Scheduled Reports" feature?
"Scheduled Reports" feature allows DFIs to specify parameters that allow the service to function in auto pilot mode. Example parameters include the following: ABAs, account numbers, report types, report formats and delivery options. At the end of each processing day, the service automatically reviews the day's ACH transactions, generates the requested report(s) and makes the report(s) available according to specified parameters.
Note that the service automatically scans ACH transactions housed in FedACH services for the processing day just ended and generates reports only when there is a specified match. The searching for information is included in the service at no additional charge. A report is generated only when a match is found. These generated reports are stored and available via the FedLine Web Solution for 30 processing days. This feature could potentially eliminate manual processing thereby making reports available to customers sooner.
- What is the "On Demand" feature?
The "On Demand" feature is an optional feature that can be used to generate an ad hoc / impromptu report(s). For example, this feature may be used if a customer was not identified for an automatic Scheduled Report generation. This feature may prove helpful if a customer calls to request information from a few days ago or if it is necessary to research a new customer’s historical data.
The information is available to produce reports as early as the previous processing day and as far back as 60 processing days in the past.
- How long are the "Scheduled Reports" retained in the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH on the FedLine Web Solution?
Scheduled reports are retained for 30 FedACH processing days.
- What date range is accessible via the "On Demand" report feature?
This varies by report, however information as old as 60 FedACH processing days can be accessed for most reports. Most reports can be generated in date ranges from one to 10 processing days.
- Can the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH be used to create reports from data files that did not flow through the FedACH service?
Yes. There is an optional service feature named On-us Inclusion that allows the DFI, or their processor, to transmit on-us and on-we transactions to FedACH for inclusion in some of the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH generated reports. Refer to the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH Overview for additional details and the FedACH Services fee page for the associated fees.
- What report formats are available?
The following formats are available: text (TXT), print display (PDF) and hypertext (HTML). The TXT format has several limitations but is sometimes needed for storing the reports in Internet banking systems. HTML is not good for large reports due to browser constraints. The PDF format will likely best serve most DFIs and their customers. A few reports are available in spreadsheet formats (CSV and XLSX).
- I am having formatting issues while printing some of the reports. Sometimes reports generated in text (TXT) format have line wrap issues and will not page break in the appropriate locations. What’s wrong?
It would be best to select "PDF" formatting to print the reports. The PDF format allows much more control of printing features. The text (TXT) format has very limited features that are controlled by PC based software such as Notepad and WordPad. For text-formatted reports, the following settings may help with the line wrap issue: landscape mode, 8 point Courier new font, and 0 width margins.
- Will the reports appear to have been generated by the FedACH service or by the financial institution?
None of the receiver or originator focused reports reflect any Federal Reserve Bank wording or branding. In addition, the service supports "white branding" and can be configured with two heading lines on the reports to identify the DFI. The encrypted email portal screens are generic (unbranded) and do not reflect the Federal Reserve Banks or the financial institution.
- What information is available in the service?
View information about the available reports and files.
- What is the difference between the ACH Remittance Advice Summary and ACH Remittance Advice Detail reports?
The ACH Remittance Advice Summary report only attempts to convert selected key information from the EDI data that most receivers find essential.
The ACH Remittance Advice Detail report attempts to convert all EDI data. This additional information might be useful to the customer if the limited amount of data shown in the ACH Remittance Advice Summary report does not meet their needs.
Please note that the detail report may produce many more pages of output than does the summary report. It is advisable to work with the customer to determine which report best meets its needs. A common approach is to have the summary and detail reports both automatically generated. The customer could reference the smaller summary report in most cases while still having access to the more verbose detail report when needed.
- What SEC codes are examined when the data is being scanned to produce the remittance reports?
The following SEC codes are examined by default: CTX, CCD, PPD, CIE, WEB and POS. This default behavior can be easily changed to search for only selected SEC codes and transactions with or without addenda records.
- A report is not being produced for a customer that I know was in my FedACH file, and I have established the receiver account number in the customer maintenance screen. What’s wrong?
Most likely the receiver account number established in the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH does not match the receiver account number in the ACH transaction. To verify, examine the Receiver Setup report associated with that transaction carefully and look for anomalies in the account number. The FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH has the ability to match on receiver account number regardless of leading zeros, spaces and dashes. If there are other characters in the receiver account number, those characters must be included in the customer maintenance screen in order for the service to be able to generate reports for that customer. Another common explanation is that the list of SEC codes established in the advanced setup screen is too narrow. For example, only CTX is selected in the advanced setup screen but the transactions are CTX with addenda records (CTX+).
- How often can the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH parameters be modified?
The parameters can be modified anytime the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH is available. Shortly after the FedACH services end-of-day process completes early each morning, the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH will generate reports and emails based on the parameters currently specified in the service.
- What ANSI X12 transaction sets can the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH convert?
The FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH can convert all ANSI X12 transaction sets and NACHA-endorsed banking conventions permitted in the ACH network. This includes the following ANSI X12 transaction sets:
- 820 (payment order/remittance advice)
- 835 (health care claim payment/advice)
- 813 (electronic filing of tax return data)
- 823 (lockbox deposit records)
- 521 (income or asset offset for child support)
- 103 (abandoned property Filings)
The FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH will also convert the limited EDI segments used by the Social Security Administration for payments to representative payees.
Since the STP 820 format is a subset of the full 820 specification, it is also supported by the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH.
- Sometimes the ACH detail or ACH summary remittance reports contain bad or jumbled information. What’s wrong?
Bad or jumbled information in an ACH detail or ACH summary remittance report usually indicates that the financial EDI transaction was not formatted by the originator to the appropriate ANSI X12 standard. When the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH encounters transactions that are not properly formatted, it converts as much as possible. When the FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH encounters transactions that cannot be converted, it displays the addenda information in its original form. If a particular receiver consistently encounters items with addenda records that are not formatted correctly, the receiver should discuss the matter with its trading partner that originated the information.
- Is an additional program needed to unzip (decompress) the file that contains the reports
Most likely not. Most modern operating systems already include the ability to zip and unzip files. For customers with very old operating systems, an upgrade to an operating system that supports compressed (zipped) files or a third party decompression product may be necessary.
- Can the reports be directed to my Internet banking cash management portal?
Yes. A feature named Reports via FedLine is available that allows the generated reports to be packaged in an appropriately formatted file and directed to a FedLine file delivery channel (Advantage, Command or Direct). This file can be directed to the DFI or a third party processor that can read the file, extract the reports and load the reports into an Internet banking cash management portal. The appropriate FedPayments Reporter Service for FedACH participation agreement is required to establish this feature. Refer to the FedPayments Reporter home page for additional information.
Encrypted Email Questions
- What is the encrypted email feature?
The encrypted email feature is an optional service that uses a third party encrypted email service to automatically deliver reports to the DFI and/or to its customers. All report(s) for a single email address, within a given ABA, that are generated during the same FedACH daily processing cycle are "zipped" together into a single email attachment. This simplifies the download process so that only one file, instead of possibly multiple files, needs to be downloaded. This also speeds the download process as the size of the report(s) is significantly reduced. This feature could potentially reduce or eliminate manual processing and makes the reports available to customers sooner. Please note that each email queued to a unique email address generates a separate charge.
- Do I have to use the encrypted email feature?
No, the encrypted email feature is optional. A DFI can always choose to manually download the reports via the FedLine Web Solution. However, this feature can automate the delivery of reports directly to customers and potentially reduces or eliminates manual processing and makes the reports available to customers sooner.
- What is the URL of the encrypted email portal?
- The encrypted email vendor's website indicates that it offers a number of different solutions for receiving encrypted email, including some that deliver the emails directly to a usual email inbox instead of the email portal (achedi.com). Are all of these options allowed?
While the vendor offers additional solutions that require the receiving recipient to purchase additional components, the additional components and solutions are not required and are not supported by the Federal Reserve Banks. Customers may choose to use the other vendor-supported solutions based on their own security assessment and business needs.
- How long are emails retained in the encrypted email portal (achedi.com) before they are deleted?
60 calendar days.
- How long are un-accessed accounts retained in the encrypted email portal before they are deleted?
If an account is not accessed via the portal for 180 calendar days (about six months), it will be automatically deleted.
- How will I know about undeliverable email notices?
The Federal Reserve Customer Contact Center (CCC) will notify DFIs of undeliverable email notices. Failure to address the issue may result in the email address being removed from the service.