It’s 3:12 p.m. You check the weather report again. The storm is coming and it looks like it’s getting stronger. What if you cannot get into the building tomorrow? How will you process your Automated Clearing House (ACH) files? Did you know that the Federal Reserve Banks allow financial institutions to set up alternate sending and receiving points in advance of a contingency situation?

As your institution is designing its business continuity plans, you can choose to predetermine alternate processing arrangements for your FedACH® Services at either an off-site location for your institution or a contingency provider.

To set up this contingency information, your financial institution will need to complete and submit the FedACH Participation Agreement – Part 4 (PDF). Upon receipt, the Federal Reserve Banks will keep this information on file to be used only in the event of a contingency situation. Should you need to invoke this arrangement, an authorized individual will need to contact FedACH and Check Services Customer Support and provide instructions on behalf of your institution.

Once you resume operations at your site or a contingency site, you should again contact FedACH and Check Services Customer Support and provide a status and business resumption information.

Remember that the most successful contingency plans entail solid planning and frequent testing. If you wish to test your new contingency plans, you may schedule a date and time to send/receive a data test file. More information is available on the FedACH Services Testing Opportunities page. If you have any other questions or would like assistance with completing the necessary agreement, please contact FedACH and Check Services Customer Support.