Blogs

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Although COVID-19 restrictions are beginning to ease in some parts of the country, aftershocks are still rippling out, affecting every segment of the industry, including real-time payments. The fact that a significant number of consumers said they would switch from their current financial institutions to one that provides real-time payments is revealing. In addition, RTP® continues to gain traction, and FedNow (SM) released message specifications for the initial launch of its FedNow Service based on the standard set by the International Organization for Standardization, or ISO. Read on for more of this month’s latest developments. May 2021 At-a-Glance ...
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As we turn the corner into spring, the digital shift continues to accelerate as the industry adapts to shifting consumer perspectives and expectations in the wake of COVID-19. In response, financial institutions are developing new solutions, forging strategic partnerships with FinTechs, and identifying and solving new opportunities and challenges. In this month’s issue, we explore the new digital consumer and how the pandemic has shaped consumers’ shopping behaviors, how application programming interfaces (APIs) are taking online banking to the next level, Finastra’s participation in the Federal Reserve’s FedNow (SW) Service Pilot Program, and more.   ...
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COVID-19 has brought unprecedented opportunities and challenges to financial institutions of all sizes. From the processing of more than $72.7 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to the acceleration of digitalization and the shifting role of operations, financial institutions responded heroically to the titanic cultural shifts and the increase in customers’ demands over the past year. In the process, they redefined themselves, and the industry, for years to come. As year two of the pandemic brings new opportunities and challenges, financial institutions are taking steps to deepen their relationships with existing customers and members and extend ...
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Accessibility is about more than in-person parking spaces and wheelchair ramps at branch locations. With so much banking increasingly done online—especially given the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year—it’s crucial to ensure you’re accommodating users with disabilities who visit your digital platforms. Ninety-four percent of mobile banking customers use online banking platforms at least once a month, and digital banking stats predict the total number of online and mobile banking users will exceed 3.6 billion by 2024. As digital continues to grow and evolve, have you given much thought to how to make your materials accessible to those with vision concerns? ...
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As we turn the page on another year, there are several trends to keep an eye on. For example, COVID’s continuing impact on payments, and more specifically, the acceleration of payments modernization, continues to drive change in the industry. Our recent 2021 predictions post dives into some of the trends to watch in the coming year.   To keep an eye on these developments and support member financial institutions in 2021, NEACH has identified six key topics, which fall under the broader category of payments modernization, to focus its efforts on in 2021: COVID’s impact, emerging payments, the new role of operations, faster payments strategy, RTP®, and FedNow ...
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The Clearing House’s RTP ® network is gaining traction, with 70 percent of demand deposit accounts (DDA) now having access to real-time capabilities via banking technology providers connected to the network. We recently talked with both a financial institution and core provider that have completed the implementation process to get a glimpse into how it works.             A Bank’s Perspective We first sat down with Christopher E. Richards, Executive Vice President and Chief Banking Services Officer for Cape Cod 5 to learn what led to the bank’s decision to connect to RTP services through its core provider, Jack Henry. Richards framed the bank’s decision ...
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Financial institutions have weathered the COVID-19 crisis well, with many of them further digitalizing their products and services in record time and processing more than 81 million Electronic Stimulus Payments (EIP) and more than 4 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. However, an area of continued concern is the rise in the overall level of fraud that appears to be resulting from the environmental conditions created by the pandemic.   With that in mind, I attended a recent FS-ISAC training exercise with a focus on Business Email Compromise (BEC). This exercise was a great experience, providing me insight into the inner working of a BEC. The nuts ...
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As we move toward the end of the year, payments modernization remains in high gear. The Federal Reserve recently announced the launch of the FedNow (SW) Pilot Program and is inviting participation from the industry. Early Warning and The Clearing House just completed a critical integration milestone of the Zelle® and RTP® Networks, which opens the door to new opportunities. And Nacha recently approved eight rule changes that reflect a long-term strategy to modernize the ACH system. With changes like these coming fast and furious, it is sometimes hard to stay on top of new developments and emerging trends. The good news is that we’ve got you covered. One of ...
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As we look toward 2021 business planning, COVID 19—and its ensuing impact on financial institutions and the individuals and businesses they serve — continue to shape the future. Changes in technology and operations that would normally have taken months or years to occur have happened over weeks, as financial institutions have found themselves pivoting to meet the shifting demands brought about by COVID. With that in mind, the priority around payments strategy increases. Market shifts can create a whirlwind of response, and without guardrails in place, FIs may be left wondering exactly where to turn. Yet, if you align your payments business with your overall ...
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If this year has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. Even still, 2020’s steady stream of change has disoriented us, upending our “normal” and creating a new operational paradigm. In fact, we’ve all been moving so rapidly to respond to new demands that we’re in danger of losing sight of where we want to go.   I don’t know about you, but I feel a little like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz , because we’re clearly not in Kansas anymore. That’s why a little over a month ago, NEACH issued a call for participation for a New Role of Operations Workgroup. We designed this group to come together to reign in the unknown and look at the landscape with fresh ...
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In July, we shared some tips on addressing unemployment fraud , and calls to our Payments Hotline show that the situation continues to evolve. Now ODFIs have begun sending requests for the return of these payments, accompanied by Letters of Indemnification (LOIs). RDFIs are looking for clarity on how to handle these requests and what is required under the Nacha Operating Rules. I wanted to take a moment to break down this issue and share insights to help RDFIs make the best business decision for their institutions.   Under the Rules Let’s start with the specifics of the Rule requirements. As we mentioned last month, the ODFI warrants this transaction ...
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FRB Synthetic Fraud

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In 2019, the Federal Reserve published two white papers as part of their Payments Fraud Insights series. The first, Synthetic Fraud in the U.S. Payment System covered basic traits. 1 The second white paper, Detecting Synthetic Identity Fraud in the U.S. Payment System , stressed how important it is for organizations to investigate deeper than the basic identifying data to uncover synthetic fraud. The third white paper picks up where their last one ended. It identifies the various efforts that organizations – both individually and collectively – can work with to mitigate synthetic identity fraud. Additionally, the third paper covers several ...
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On May 14, 2020 the Secret Service   issued a warning   about a "well-organized Nigerian fraud ring exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to commit large-scale fraud against state unemployment insurance programs." The Secret Service believes that this ring has obtained a substantial database of personally identifiable information (PII) from first responders, government personnel and school employees, and that all states are at risk.   Following that announcement, calls began coming into our Payments Hotline ( 1-855-NEACH-QA ) on how to identify these transactions and how to handle returns. In fact, i t was the top question we received in May and continued trending ...
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The Federal Reserve announced recently the release of its FraudClassifier SM Model—a set of tools and materials designed to help classify and understand the magnitude of fraudulent activity across the payments industry. The Fed developed the FraudClassifier Model to help address the industry-wide challenge of inconsistent classifications for fraud involving ACH, wire, or check payments.     The release of Fed’s FraudClassifier comes at a time when financial institutions are seeing an uptick in fraud due to the ripple effects of COVID-19.   “We know the bad guys never miss the opportunity to take advantage of a bad situation,” Jim Cunha, secure payments ...
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NEACH, as you know, has been promoting the use of the ACH Network for close to 50 years and expanded our offerings over the last ten years to all thing’s electronic payments.  What you may not know about NEACH is that internally we have been very dependent on checks for both our A/R and A/P processes.  I had a vision when I became President & CEO, and that vision was to change that process immediately.  It did not change immediately, and that was due to a couple of errors in judgment. Most notably, our process and systems were literally written out of a check processing playbook.  The other issue to our check process was our fraud controls. From the approval ...
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During this unprecedented time of widespread disruption and uncertainty brought about by COVID-19, NEACH’s mission and commitment to serve the needs of its members and to represent and advocate for you at the national level continues unhindered. Although our team is working from home, we are carrying on with business as usual, and that means our members remain our top priority.   While much of the nation remains under a stay-at-home mandate, the work of representing and advocating for you continues. We partner with organizations like Nacha, the Fed, the Faster Payments Council, and others at the national level on behalf of our members.   For example, ...
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Payments innovation is happening in every aspect of our industry and at an unprecedented pace. Why all this change, and why now? This answer is twofold. First: technology disruption. The rise of mobile smartphone technology was an early onset disrupter and has continued to influence the face of technology. Today we have technology focused FinTechs reshaping how we view banking as a whole. Innovations that promise to that both change and improve the customer experience—along with technology that offers the opportunity to do so—has shifted the way our industry and society as a whole operates. Second: global awareness. The United States is part of a major global ...
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We’ve entered the era of payments modernization, including real-time payments. Today’s technology advances at lightning speed, and new systems and solutions—leveraging that very technology—continue to emerge to improve the payments process. All of this being driven by the customer/member, who demands fast, safe, convenient, and personalized transactional experiences. And financial institutions will be the force to usher us into the modern payments world. While FinTechs might be driving the technology behind the modernization, financial institutions have the customer/member relationship; they’ve earned the trust. Customers/members rely on banks and credit ...
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By now, you’ve probably read the article, “January Faster Payments Executive Summary— Reflections on 2019 and Predictions for 2020,” that went out under my name. First, let me say, I’m thrilled so many of you read   my posts! In response to the number of emails I received congratulating me on my “new” job   at NEACH, I’d like to give credit where credit is due. This month’s executive summary, mistakenly posted under my name, was actually written by a new addition to our team Mark Dixon, AAP, APRP, NCP, director of payments innovation. Expect to see more from Mark in the near future—including in the re-post of the previously mentioned article under the correct ...
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There’s been quite a bit of activity around cannabis banking this year. 2019 is shaping up to be a big year for cannabis banking. Green Check Verified’s Paul Dunford, Director of Customer Experience and Attorney, Sara Moppin from Preti Flaherty will be discussing their shared learnings around cannabis banking in New England - and what’s next for cannabis banking in 2020. This presentation will cover shared learnings on trends, updates, what 2019 has taught us so far about cannabis banking in New England - and what that might mean for cannabis banking in 2020.   What You'll Learn:  What data you can use to help you and your FI define what ...
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