Isn't the ACH system mostly automated?

I did a small ACH transfer between my banks on Friday and it normally takes 2 days tops, to see it go through. Nothing as of today, Monday. Yes, Sunday was the 4th of July, but isn’t this system computerized and automated? Does a human actually have to approve and sign off on EVERY ACH transaction?

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It’s a federal holiday. The computers get off too.


Not sure if you’re just kidding, but computers are usually left on 24/7.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but banks will use any excuse they can to hold on to your money longer. Funny how credit cards can post charges on holidays but payments only show up on business days.


You are really going to love that you won’t see that money until Wednesday.

ACHs are automated, but still work on the “daily batch” concept - and batches don’t get run on weekends and holidays. A “day” means business day, not calendar day.


Less than 2 bucks so won’t sweat it. It’s still ridiculous they get away with that, but when you use a debit card to buy something, the money is out of your bank account instantly.

If you run it through as debit, yes, but if you run it through as credit, it usually takes a couple days. I sometimes buy gas to fulfill rewards checking transaction fulfillments and the charges often take 2, 3, sometimes 4 days and in the meantime my available balance is unchanged.

I imagine there would be more national outrage about it if short term interest rates were above 0%.

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They’re two entirely different products, provided by third party service providers. It’s like saying it is ridiculous grocery stores get away with charging $8 for steaks, when the chicken is $2.

Besides, do you think with a debit purchase, the merchant gets the money instantly? Most of the time the merchant gets the money 2-3 days after the transaction - which is the same timeframe as your ACH transfer, you just don’t see the back half of the transfer when it’s going to a merchant.

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IIRC the reason was that the ACH network association does not resolve payments when the Federal Reserve settlement systems are closed. They’re open like 11 hours per weekday except on federal holidays.

Once you’ve use Zelle though, the ACH really seems pretty clunky and antiquated even with its supposed 4 same day processing windows. But that’s also the cost of the protections and verification in the ACH system. Try to get your money back from fraudulent Zelle transfer and you’re just SoL. Still, everything would be much simpler if ACH worked every day of the week and most transactions were same day or at worst next day.


ACH is still so slow because banks still want it to be slow because they make more money that way. Thats the only real reason.

Interesting read :


Probably true.

I’ve wondered why ACH offers 3 transfer speeds at all. Should all be same day or next day if after hours. What’s the point of offering a two-day transfer speed? Just schedule a same day transfer two days later. Unless the whole point is to indulge banks’ scheme to keep your money longer.

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There’s the process of settling the transfer. I don’t think there’s any bank that holds a 3-day ACH pull, because after three days the transaction has settled. Banks that post then hold a transfer is posting it in anticipation of the transaction settling.

To be clear, the more money isn’t from any float from keeping your money a couple days before depositing it in the destination account. It’s from the added fees from the quicker wire transfers, etc people use when the ACH timeframe isn’t quick enough.

My own opinion is that faster is always better. But if it helps keep ACH transfers free, I’m fine with fees from quicker transfers subsidizing slightly slower ACH options. As it is, I have a handful of accounts that charge for initiating outbound ACH transfers.

Brokerages, right? If not … :astonished:

No, BoA charges on regular checking accounts for any ACH push. When asked how to avoid the fee, they told me that Zelle was free (albeit useless for the purpose of transferring money between my own accounts at different banks). I promptly accepted their sign-up bonus money and closed my checking account as soon as I could.

If you read the article linked by jerosen, I think the interchange fees are optional (and most banks don’t charge them) and were forced onto NACHA by big banks in 2016.


I agree with that logic too. BUT only IF that was the only choice.

Banks make $200B a year in profits so I think they can take a minor hit on their profits so we get a little convienice without payin.

Exactly. Interior CU was the most recent I ran into. Only $2 for up to $15k, but a fee nonetheless.

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With Interior FCU I setup small deposits early on with TIAA Bank. When the CD matured I transferred balance to Savings.

Easy free ACH transfer of funds into TIAA.

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