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Monthly ACH volume has hit an all-time high, topping 2 billion transactions and $4.5 trillion in payments in August, according to Nacha – The Electronic Payments Association.
Those numbers represent a 10% increase in transaction volume and a 12% increase in dollar value over August 2017. Nacha said it’s on track to add more than a billion new ACH payments for the fourth year in a row.
“The ACH Network is thriving, and has achieved a milestone of more than 2 billion payments in one month,” Nacha COO Jane Larimer said. “This impressive growth demonstrates that businesses and consumers are choosing to use ACH payments.”
On May 11, 2018, financial institutions opening new accounts were required to implement greater due diligence on their customers than ever before. By law, as issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), FIs must now collect and verify the identity of their legal entity customers’ beneficial owners. The potential cost, according to FinCEN estimates, to FIs and their clients in the first year of implementation alone ranges in the hundreds of millions.
The Faster Payments Task Force is working toward launching a real-time payments network in the U.S. by 2020. But faster payments could open the door to more fraud, as has been experienced in other countries, such as the U.K. and Mexico. Meanwhile, the U.S. has already experienced fraud exploits on a number of P2P payments networks, including Venmo and Zelle, that offer money transfers between consumers. Those exploits focus on the lack of scrutiny that faster payment transactions receive due to the speed of funds transfers.
In the wake of the Equifax breach, fraudsters now have 143 million new tools at their fingertips to explore new avenues of payments fraud, particularly when it comes to new account enrollments, account takeover and synthetic identity-based fraud. The impact of this breach will be felt for years to come. Millions of consumers are being placed at risk for the indefinite future, perhaps for the rest of their lives.
Beginning September 15, same-day ACH Debits will become a reality for financial institutions, payments providers, businesses, and consumers. Despite this looming transition, the majority of organizations are not prepared for offering this new service to their customers.
It’s been said that faster payments lead to faster fraud, but what if identity verification and authentication technology become faster, too? More importantly: What if they become stronger?
According to David Barnhardt, CxO at GIACT, this is what must happen to thwart faster fraud.