What is NACHA  and how do they manage the ACH payment system?

NACHA (National Automated Clearing House Association) is the rules governing body for the ACH network. NACHA was founded in 1974 by regional ACH associations out of the need to coordinate the establishment of rules necessary to facilitate the nationwide clearing of ACH payments.

NACHA is a not-for-profit organization that represents more than 11,000 financial institutions through direct memberships and a network of regional payments associations, and an additional 650 organizations by way of its industry councils.

NACHA provides services to its member organization in the following areas:

  • Rule making – Establishes and enforces rules and guidelines for all ACH participants. When considering new rules, NACHA will typically distribute a request for comment document to certain member organizations who then have the opportunity to offer feedback and express concerns back to NACHA related to the proposed rule.
  • Education services – NACHA educates its members and the public by offering conferences, topical workshops, and publications.
  • New payments applications
  • Risk management
  • Member communications
  • Marketing
  • Regulatory and government relations issues
In February 2009, NACHA announced that the number of US ACH payments in the 4th quarter 2008 grew by 4.5 percent over the same period in 2007, topping 3.8 billion. "Internet-initiated ACH payments (known as “WEB” entries) experienced robust growth, increasing 16.5 percent over 4th quarter 2007 volumes. Strong growth also occurred with certain business-to-business payments (known as “CTX” entries) in which remittance information is exchanged electronically. The number of these payments grew by 15 percent over 4th quarter 2007 levels."