Payment Processing Changes Beginning Sept. 15, 2017

Transactions, including checks and other payments, could be processed faster beginning Sept. 15, 2017

What does this mean to me as a Member?

Simply, this means that payments made at a retailer or by phone or online can be pulled from a member’s account the same day a purchase is made. Some retailers or merchants can convert a check to an electronic funds transfer. When this happens, your check is scanned and returned to you. 

Writing a check to pay for purchases or services will be like using a debit card—the payment can be withdrawn the same day from a member’s account.

We encourage our members to actively monitor your accounts to ensure sufficient funds are available in the account at the time of purchase. If funds are not available to cover purchases, members will be charged fees for insufficient funds.

Tell me more
ACH, or Automated Clearing House, is an electronic network that processes credit and debit transactions. In order to improve credits and debits processing, a same-day processing rule took effect in 2016.

Beginning Sept. 15, 2017, this rule will allow for ACH same-day debits. This new rule allows merchants and vendors (like grocery stores, store vendors at the mall or utility companies) to get paid faster. ACH same-day debit is a mandate of the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) and all financial institutions must adhere to the ACH same-day debit rule. NACHA is the largest electronic payment network in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is an ACH?
    ACH, or Automated Clearing House, is an electronic network that processes credit and debit transactions. ACH facilitates the electronic transfer of funds in the form of payments and deposits, from one account to another.

  2. What is an ACH Debit?
    An ACH debit occurs when a creditor or merchant electronically removes funds from an account.  These debits can happen when a consumer makes a purchase or pays a bill using the routing number and account number from his or her account—this includes writing a check. The creditor or merchant uses this information to remove the funds from the account.

  3. How will ACH Same-Day Debit affect me as a Member of Firstmark Credit Union?
    • Effective September 15, 2017 an ACH debit can be processed and withdrawn from a member’s account on the same day that it was authorized or on the same day that the member’s check was written. Prior to this second phase of Same Day ACH becoming effective, ACH debits have typically posted to a member’s account on the business day following the authorization.
    • Members should be extra diligent about monitoring checking accounts to ensure that sufficient funds are available to cover purchases.
  4. How will I know if a merchant or vendor processes checks as an ACH Debit?
    Merchants and vendors are required to inform consumers that they process checks as ACH debits. If members are unsure, the best practice is to ask the merchant or vendor.

  5. Will Firstmark charge me a fee if I do not have sufficient funds to cover the ACH Debit?
    Yes. Firstmark does charge a fee if there are insufficient funds in your account to cover the debit transaction. If members have opted into Firstmark’s Overdraft Protection (ODP) service, then a $28.00 fee will be charged to cover the overdraft on the account. If members have not opted into ODP, then a Nonsufficient Funds Fee (NSF) of $28.00 will be charged and the item may be returned to the merchant/vendor.

  6. Will the Merchant or Vendor charge the member fees?
    Yes. The merchant or vendor may assess additional fees if the transaction is returned as NSF. Members who experience charges from the merchant or vendor will need to address those charges directly with that merchant or vendor.

ACH History

In September 2016, NACHA (The National Automated Clearing House Association) began implementing the same-day ACH rule that allows financial institutions to provide a faster option for ACH processing.  Under the new rule, all consumers, businesses, government entities and financial institutions are eligible for both credit and debit ACH same-day payment processing. However, International transactions and transactions above $25,000 will NOT be eligible under the same-day rule.

The same-day ACH rule is being rolled out in three phases to help institutions ease into the implementation effort.  The first phase was completed in September 2016 and the second phase begins on September 15, 2017.

ACH Timeline

Phase 1 - Complete

(Effective Sept. 23, 2016)
  • Same-day ACH enabled for domestic ACH credit transactions $25,000 and below
  • Funds available by the end of the receiving depository financial institution (RDFI) processing day

Phase 2
(Effective Sept. 15, 2017)

  • Will include domestic ACH debit transactions $25,000 and below
  • Funds available by the end of the RDFI processing day

Phase 3
(Effective Mar. 16, 2018)

  • All funds must be made available to the receiver by 5:00 p.m. RDFI local time