The Evolution of a Strong ACH Network
Since its beginnings in 1974, the ACH Network has grown into one of the largest, safest and most efficient payment systems in the world.
Collaboration has always been a key part of the Network, as it was at its inception: the original Network was the result of cooperation between several ACH Associations looking to establish uniform operating rules and standards. While the Network has evolved substantially over the last 40 years, the goal of providing a secure means of transferring payments has remained firmly in place.
NACHA and the ACH Network are at the center of American commerce, moving $43 trillion each year. That’s made up of more than 25 billion electronic financial transactions, including Direct Deposit via ACH, Social Security and government benefits, electronic bill payments such as utility and mortgage payments, and person-to-person (P2P) and business-to-business (B2B) payments.
2017 Year-End Statistics
2017 Quarterly Network Statistics
2016 Quarterly Network Statistics
2015 Quarterly Network Statistics
In 1974, ACH Associations from California, Georgia, New England and the Upper Midwest region formed NACHA within the American Bankers Association. Following that, the initial ACH rules were approved, which made Prearranged Payment and Deposit or Direct Deposit, the first ACH transaction type, effective. By 1978, it was possible for two financial institutions located anywhere in the U.S. to exchange ACH payments under a common set of rules and procedures.
With the launch of The Payments Institute in 1987 and the establishment of the Accredited ACH Professional program in 1993, NACHA expanded the Network’s accessibility. The 1990s also saw the birth of critical groups such as the Cross-Border Council and the Internet Council, which today have evolved into the all-inclusive Payments Innovation Alliance.
In 2001, NACHA’s reorganization allowed federally-insured depository financial institutions to become Direct Members; at the same time, internet- and telephone-initiated payments became effective. NACHA expanded payments possibilities further in 2009 when it began allowing for International ACH Transactions. As the Network has grown, we’ve seen payments expand from just over one billion annually in 1988 to 25 billion in 2016.
2014 Marked 40 Years of NACHA History
For more than 40 years, NACHA has served as the trustee of the ACH Network, managing the development, administration and rules for the financial network that moves 25 billion electronic payments each year valued at $43 trillion. Through its collaborative, self-regulatory model, NACHA, and the more than 10,000 financial institutions it represents, have facilitated the expansion and diversification of electronic payments on the ACH Network, supporting Direct Deposit and Direct Payment via ACH transactions, including ACH credit and debit transactions; recurring and one-time payments; government, consumer and business-to-business transactions; international payments; and payments plus payment-related information.
Through NACHA’s expertise and guidance, the ACH Network is now one of the largest, safest and most reliable payment systems, creating value and enabling innovation for all participants.
Take a walk through the history of NACHA with our interactive, scrolling timeline