In the interest of finding and furthering opportunities to improve the speed of payments and reduce payments risk, we recently announced the expansion of our FedACH SameDay Service, effective April 1, 2013. By adding eligibility for credit payments and most Standard Entry Class (SEC) code transactions, the service matured into a full domestic service offering far greater opportunity for same day clearing of Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions.
All service participants can take advantage of the expanded service capabilities listed below:
Since participation in the service continues to be on an opt-in basis, the greater the number of participants, the greater the resulting benefits. Financial institutions serving a common geographic region might consider creating a local participation group to speed exchange of shared items.
One banker who has been looking forward to a more complete service is Brian Collins, senior vice president and eBanking and payment services director for Enterprise Bank (Off-site Link) of Lowell, Massachusetts. Collins and Enterprise Bank were among the first in their market area to sign up to participate in the expanded service and are looking forward to providing new benefits to their customers. “We’ve been longing for same day ACH for some time, but the original service accommodated only some of the lower volume standard entry class codes. Now that we have CCD and PPD, we have something we can offer to those customers in need of last minute coverage,” Collins shared.
Consider some of the payment scenarios that can benefit from same day settlement:
“We have several payroll processors who were experiencing a degree of credit exposure," Collins explained. "Now we have something to offer them."
Senior Vice President and eBanking and Payment Services Director
Steven Cordray, project director in the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Retail Payments Office, was instrumental in making the expanded service a reality. He described how easy it is to get started with the service. “There isn’t any overhead associated with implementation and use,” Cordray explained. “The service uses the standard NACHA file format. Simply putting today’s date in the “effective entry date” field is all it takes to trigger same day settlement.”
Cordray is understandably excited about the service’s potential, and he is not alone in his enthusiasm. The expanded service offering is generating quite a bit of interest in the banking community. As Cordray explained, the Federal Reserve Financial Services strategic direction calls for advancement of accelerated clearing and settlement, along with focus on the payments needs of end users. See the November 2012 FedFocus article, “Aligning strategic focus and collaborating with the industry on payments system improvement.”
Collins, too, sees this as the direction payments are moving, with small business owners and managers increasingly thinking like consumers. “They think more like retail consumers. They expect real time in their personal transactions and now, more and more, in how they conduct their business,” stated Collins.
If you also appreciate the potential of the expanded FedACH SameDay Service, find out how you can participate in the network by reviewing the FedACH SameDay Service product sheet (PDF), learning more about FedACH SameDay Service Participants and contacting your FedACH Sales Specialist to initiate a discussion.
“NACHA” is a registered trademark of NACHA-The Electronic Payments Association.
With over 28 years in banking, Nick Phillips knows wires. “I got my start working in conjunction with the Federal Reserve, verifying outgoing wire transfers and occasionally entering them as a backup for my institution,” stated Phillips, vice president and chief operations officer at Northside Community Bank. In those accumulated years, Phillips has worked with the Fed from the beginning with the original DOS-based wire transfer platform and Okidata printer that required reams of pin-feed paper to the Fedwire® Services of today via NorthSide Community Bank’s FedLine Advantage® Plus connection.
To deliver services to its customers, NorthSide Community Bank (Off-site Link) uses many of the Fed’s service offerings, including Fedwire Services, FedACH® Services, Check 21-enabled Services and FedCash® Services. One service in particular, the FedTransaction Analyzer tool, has allowed NorthSide’s staff to semi-automate the manual process of monitoring historical wire activity.
Founded in 1997, NorthSide Community Bank currently has five branches in the greater Chicago, Illinois area, with over $300 million in assets. Its 40 employees are extremely active in community projects, and are committed to offering top-notch financial services options to the community they serve.
The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and related regulations require financial institutions to assist the government in detecting and preventing money laundering. Among other things, BSA regulations require financial institutions to keep records of funds transfers of $3,000 and to report suspicious activity that might signify money laundering, tax evasion or other criminal activities.
As you might imagine, complying with these requirements can be difficult and time consuming for financial institutions, especially if their processes are manual. Many ready-made automated solutions are costly or require long-term contracts. So, what is a community bank to do?
The FedTransaction Analyzer tool enables NorthSide Community Bank to semi-automate its review of historical Fedwire Funds Service transactions. For example, with very little staff effort, NorthSide Community Bank can capture the wire data it needs to support its compliance and risk management efforts. In addition to capturing wire information, the FedTransaction Analyzer tool enables NorthSide to more easily identify transactions of interest to its compliance staff, such as increased transaction volumes associated with an account (e.g., an increase in the number or value of wires sent or received by a particular customer), high-dollar transfers, and wires that include information that suggest they involve cross-border transactions. In fact, the FedTransaction Analyzer tool allows NorthSide’s staff to customize a range of criteria so they can focus on the transactions in which they are most interested. Information from the FedTransaction Analyzer tool also helps NorthSide quickly identify which funds transfers are $3,000 or more — a feature that can help the bank locate records the BSA requires it to keep.
“The time spent manually inputting both incoming and outgoing wire transfers to satisfy BSA retention requirements is down to zero,” stated Phillips. “The FedTransaction Analyzer tool allows us to import a week’s worth of wire activity quickly into an Excel® spreadsheet.”
Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
NorthSide Community Bank
Most beneficial to NorthSide Community Bank is the ability to eliminate the many hours required to manually enter the previous day’s wires in a spreadsheet the bank uses to facilitate its BSA compliance. Phillips noted there have been times when staff members wanted to search wires for specific customers for trends over the past year, and the FedTransaction Analyzer tool allows them to do just that effortlessly.
Getting started is easy. “It was one of easiest transitions I have ever experienced. Training and questions were all handled quickly and efficiently,” said Phillips. Even better as a current user of the FedLine Advantage Plus package, which includes the FedTransaction Analyzer tool free of charge, NorthSide Community Bank did not have any additional investments or costs associated with using the tool.
“It’s a great product, easy to work with and a no-brainer as far as I am concerned.”
Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
NorthSide Community Bank
If you are interested in learning more about the FedTransaction Analyzer tool, view a complimentary 24/7 on-demand webinar or attend a live demo to get valuable information about this cost-effective and easy-to-use tool.
Then, work with the Federal Reserve Banks to learn how you can gain more control, efficiency and potential cost savings for your institution’s business operations and information needs. We are ready to help you with information and a comparison of value and pricing for our service offerings. Use the My FedDirectory® service to access a personalized phone directory of your Federal Reserve contacts.
"Excel" is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
On October 8, 2013, the redesigned $100 note will begin circulating. You can read the official April 24, 2013, press release on federalreserve.gov (Off-site Link).
The Federal Reserve Board and its partners at the U.S. Secret Service and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing have developed training materials to help you and your staff prepare to accept the redesigned $100 note. Between now and October 8, 2013, periodic updates will be sent with information to help you get ready for the redesigned $100 note. If you, or others at your organization, would like to receive these updates, please complete the sign up form.
Stay tuned for future updates regarding the redesigned $100 note:
For more information please visit newmoney.gov (Off-site Link).
Spring is in the air. You can feel the environment renewing itself all around you. Much like the spring season, the Events and Education curriculum offered by the Federal Reserve Banks is consistently updated with fresh information to meet the needs of our customers. These updates serve two fundamental education purposes: to ensure you have the most current and accurate information possible regarding a service, and to offer you education opportunities that build upon one another to deliver critical information you can readily absorb and apply.
As we focus on innovative and technologically advanced solutions for our customers, processes and previous functionality may change for a service. Our education sessions are regularly updated to reflect the new enhancements, information and options available to your institution. It is always a good idea to consider taking a session again if it has been quite some time since you originally participated to refresh your knowledge. In addition, new sessions that build upon the previously available sessions are being added on a regular basis.
We recognize that for most of our services there is a great deal of information to share. To ensure you can retain the wealth of information shared in our sessions and use it to your full advantage, we have formatted a number of our events in a series that builds upon a previous session, or work in conjunction with other available sessions. Each session in our curriculum helps you build a complete understanding of the services available to your institution.
Our check adjustments webinar series uses both aspects to deliver a solid, ready-made curriculum for your institution. In March, check adjustments revised the Check Adjustments Insights into Investigation Types (ITYPs) webinar to provide more details regarding some of the most common errors institutions encounter in today’s processing environment, including Encoding Errors (ENC), Non-Cash Items (NCH), Not Our Items (NOI) and Paid Items (PAID).
This month, a new complimentary webinar is being introduced. The Check Adjustments Informational Webinar - Changes to Paid Item (PAID) Adjustments is intended to help you prepare for the upcoming changes related to Paid Item (PAID) investigation type (ITYP) effective later this year. These changes support our ongoing efforts to expedite the handling of adjustment requests and simplify the associated documentation requirements.
Whether you are onboarding new adjustments staff, refreshing the skills of existing staff or training staff members to serve as trainers themselves, the check adjustment series offers a wide selection of choices.
Since the check adjustment sessions run in a progressive series, we recommend, at a minimum, participation in the two basic principles webinars that cover the fundamentals of adjustments processing and build core proficiency for the learner. Once you have mastered these sessions, you can kick your education into high gear with the more advanced sessions. All of the sessions repeat throughout the year, continually offering a variety of dates and times. This flexible, year-round availability provides your institution with a number of robust learning opportunities.
Get your check adjustments education started today! Register online for Federal Reserve Bank educational seminars.
|Event Title and Description||Dates||Event Type|
Check Adjustments Informational Webinar - Changes to Paid Item (PAID) AdjustmentsThis webinar is offered at no cost and is intended for all customers. The purpose of this event is to provide information regarding the upcoming changes for the Paid Item (PAID) investigation type (ITYP) and overall supporting documentation requirements, commonly referred to as documents-to-follow (DTFs), as well as provide an overview of our suite of Check Adjustments webinars.
10:00 a.m. or
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Basic Principles and Concepts of Forward and Return Check Adjustments
This webinar is designed for entry level staff or institutions that are new to submitting adjustments to the Federal Reserve Banks. In this event we will lay the foundation for understanding the Forward and Return workflow. We will then build on that foundation by explaining the concept of adjustments, including how to determine the entry type needed and the case submission requirements for submitting an adjustment.
10:00 a.m. or
Basic Principles and Concepts of FedLine® and Documents to Follow (DTFs)
This webinar is intended for institutions that are new to using FedLine or interested in using FedLine to submit adjustment requests and supporting documentation, commonly referred to as Documents-to-Follow (DTFs).
10:00 a.m. or
|Review details and register today|
For information on dates and times, seminar details or newly added offerings, please visit Federal Reserve Bank Events. Be sure to bookmark the page as a favorite for future reference.
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