ACH Volume Increases to 23 Billion Payments in 2014
“The ACH Network has continually added capabilities over its history to enable a host of electronic payments, such as payroll, bill payments, business payments, online and mobile payments, international payments, and a variety of others,” said Janet O. Estep, president and CEO of NACHA. “New initiatives will help us continue to provide new, efficient options for ACH Network users.”
Reflecting the industry’s continued adoption and use of electronic payments, native electronic payments, or transactions that start and end as electronic, constituted 90 percent of ACH Network volume. In 2014, there were more than 16 billion native electronic payments, up 6.3 percent from 2013.
Specific categories of native electronic payments that saw significant growth in 2014 include online payments (WEB transactions), business-to-business (B2B) payments (CTX and CCD transactions), and recurring payments (PPD transactions), such as Direct Deposit via ACH.
WEB transactions — debit or credit payments made when authorization is provided via the Internet or a wireless network — grew 10.2 percent in 2014. A total of 3.6 billion WEB transactions were exchanged via the Network last year, including 7.4 million WEB credits that were person-to-person (P2P) payments. The implementation of new rules in March 2014 enabled the use of the WEB credit to identify and standardize P2P payments processed via the ACH Network. In total, WEB transactions accounted for almost 20 percent of ACH Network volume.
“Clearly, the trend is moving towards more and more online and mobile payments, as these types of payments, like the ACH Network, provide choice, flexibility and convenience for consumers,” said Estep. “Continued development and implementation of rules that support the changing needs of the industry will help ensure financial institutions remain at the center of payments and continue to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s consumers.”
In 2014, the ACH Network processed a total of 2.7 billion CTX and CCD transactions, including 149 million healthcare payments via ACH, which are CCD transactions. This was an increase of 7.3 percent over 2013. Addenda record use associated with B2B payments grew as well, with CTX and CCD addenda use collectively increasing 7.7 percent.
Recurring payments, or PPD transactions, which account for almost half of total ACH Network volume, grew by 4.4 percent in 2014. Direct Deposit via ACH, or PPD credits, increased 3.6 percent over 2013.
Network Quality Indicators
To help maintain ACH Network quality, NACHA employs a comprehensive risk management strategy, which enables new opportunities and applications to thrive, while ensuring the safety, security and integrity of ACH payments. NACHA also utilizes the National System of Fines, which provides the means for evaluating possible Rules violations. Through a formal system of warnings and fines, it corrects infractions and helps ACH Network participants remain within the Rules’ boundaries. In 2014, NACHA assessed fines in 148 cases in the amount of $369,000. Through the National System of Fines and other risk management initiatives, including Rules development and implementation, the overall Network unauthorized debit return rate was a very low 0.028 percent in 2014 (i.e., less than 3 out of every 10,000 transactions).
“The ACH Network remains a safe, secure, and high-quality payments system,” said Estep. “The implementation of new rules, such as new standards and controls on resubmitting returned payments, and assessing fees on unauthorized transactions, will help further improve the quality of ACH payments and strengthen the Network overall.”
Top 50 Originators and Receivers
Concurrent with the release of 2014 ACH volume information, NACHA also announced the Top 50 Originating Depository Financial Institutions (ODFIs) and Receiving Depository Financial Institutions (RDFIs) in 2014.
The Top 50 ODFIs originated 15,842,451,247 billion ACH transactions, accounting for 94.5 percent of ACH Network originated volume. The Top 50 RDFIs received 10,360,357,136 billion ACH transactions, accounting for 56.6 percent of ACH Network received volume.
 Includes direct-send and on-us transactions reported to NACHA. Other figures in this release do not include direct-send or on-us volumes.