The Federal Reserve Banks are pleased to be selected as your institution’s ACH Operator. This page presents information covering some of the unique aspects of doing business with FedACH® Services.
There are a number of well-established resources available for training on ACH origination and getting started with an origination program. The Federal Reserve Banks do not intend to duplicate resources and have chosen instead to include an Additional Resources section at the end of this page to identify some of those resources.
As always, the Federal Reserve Banks stand ready to support your successful business operations. Please do not hesitate to contact any Federal Reserve Bank resource with questions.
The quickest way to find Federal Reserve Bank Financial Services contacts is by using the following resources.
Operating Circular 4 provides the legal terms and conditions under which the Federal Reserve Banks provide ACH services. All financial institutions that utilize FedACH should be familiar with its content.
The Federal Reserve Bank’s financial services operating circulars are posted on FRBservices.org, under Rules and Regulations, Operating Circulars or accessed via the Operating Circulars page.
Financial institutions sign up for various FedACH Services, make service set up selections, and designate processing agents by completing the applicable parts of the Participation Agreement. Before a financial institution begins to originate or receive FedACH items through the Federal Reserve Banks, this agreement must be completed and signed by an individual on the institution’s Official Authorization List (OAL).
All sections of the FedACH Participation Agreement, completion instructions and a quick reference guide to the sections used to activate the various FedACH services are available at FRBservices.org, Forms, FedACH Services or via the FedACH® Services Forms page.
FedACH Transmission Windows, Target Distributions and Settlement Schedules are posted on FRBservices.org, under Operations Resources, FedACH at the Same Day ACH Frequently Asked Questions page.
ACH items must be delivered to and received from the Federal Reserve Banks via an electronic connection. A financial institution may secure a connection capable of transmitting and receiving items or may choose to use the connection of a third party service provider for the transmission and receipt of items. Even if an institution itself does not maintain a connection capable of transmission and receipt, it can still monitor its FedACH activity and provide information services to its customers by securing an information only connection.
The Federal Reserve Banks’ FedLine Solutions provide a variety of capabilities. Please do not hesitate to contact the Customer Contact Center (CCC) for assistance with understanding options or with service activation. You can find the CCC contact information by using Find Your Contacts via the Contact page.
The connection options available are discussed in detail on the FedLine® Solutions page.
ACH software vendors can be helpful if an institution plans to do FedACH origination for multiple customers. Beyond facilitating ACH origination and receipt, the software often includes additional beneficial capabilities such as item warehousing and prenote tracking.
When choosing ACH software vendors, an institution should focus on its long-term ACH operating needs. Because ACH processing and regulatory environments change, it is best to choose software that can easily adapt to regulatory changes. It also is important to make sure the software vendor has a track record of promptly providing software updates when necessary due to processing or regulatory changes.
The ACH Software Vendor Considerations document is designed to assist an institution in the selection process. The document is located on FRBservices.org, under Operations Resources, FedACH Services Resources, Related Content or via the Considerations when Choosing an ACH Software Vendor (PDF).
Prior to sending the first FedACH file, an institution typically has a corporate customer send in a test file. This provides an opportunity to verify technical connectivity, format and processing procedures.
The institution should also plan to test with the Federal Reserve Banks to check file format and connectivity and to get a feel for how the process with the Federal Reserve would work. An institution can schedule to send/receive a data test file. Instructions for scheduling and setting up a test are provided on the FedACH® Services Testing Opportunities page.
The FedACH Service fees provide an institution with the information needed to price FedACH services or reconcile a billing statement. Fees are posted on the Service Fees page.
To help your institution manage and make the most of its ACH activity, FedACH Services offers transmission services along with a variety of action-oriented information services.
Detailed information on all FedACH services can be found in the FedACH® Products & Services page.
The resources below are just a few of those available to institutions beginning or expanding an ACH origination program.