The trend continues: in the second quarter of 2021, the ACH network grew 9.9%, to 1.3 billion payments, according to Nacha. Though some of this growth was expected, there are surges in areas like healthcare, which was up by 37.5%, that were much higher than anticipated. The rapidly digitized world continues to encourage more and more businesses and individuals to use electronic payments.
As for non-business payment activity, consumer-initiated payment volumes rose by 14.3% and person-to-person payments increased by 24.2%.
Even as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, the ACH Network is continuing to grow and thrive.
2021 ACH Network Changes Promote Growth
In March of 2021, Nacha also reported that Same Day ACH transactions could now be submitted for an additional two hours per day, which is likely one of the biggest reasons for the continued large growth in the industry.
This expansion helped tip a lot of businesses that were on the fence about committing to ACH in favor of the service. With this extension, ACH payments are now settled four times per day. This is a huge jump in the convenience and utility of the service.
ACH Network: 2022 and Beyond
One year after those changes to the ACH Network took effect, another large update will take place. Starting in March of 2022, the Same Day ACH dollar limit per transaction will also get a hefty increase. The dollar limit currently sits at $100,000 but it will increase to $1 million after the approved 2022 change takes place.
This change is expected to increase ACH use again, much like raising the limit from $25,000 to $100,000 did in March of 2020.
The main benefits of this increase will be in the following sectors, says PaymentsJournal:
- tax payments
- insurance payouts
- claim payment payouts
- loan proceeds payouts
- collection of payroll funds
The Future of the ACH Network
The sophistication and efficiency of the ACH Network is something all individuals and businesses are looking for when it comes to processing any and all payments that come our way. ACH has seen record growth since early 2020 and that growth looks to continue into the near future. But what systems and legislation could be changing ACH volume within the year?
One of the biggest changes in ACH Network volume will come with the U.S. government ends its pandemic-related assistance payments. For example, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments of $300 a week are set to expire in September 2021, and a number of other programs are being reduced or restructured as we head into 2022.
However, as stimulus and economic aid programs end, it marks a rise in other forms of payments due to businesses recovering. ACH will continue to have a strong year and we have many great updates to look forward to in the future as well.
The ease and convenience of ACH payment processing will likely continue to increase payment volumes in the coming months and years.
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