Trends & Research

Trends & Research

Access the power of data and objective insight. Data from various sources, including NEACH surveys and member interviews, is compiled and made available as white papers, case studies, articles, benchmarking, and industry reports to provide a snapshot of both the current and future payments landscape. 

Published on Wednesday, April 10, 2024

April 2024 Innovating Payments Executive Summary— Nacha Rules Take Aim at Credit-Push Fraud

Welcome to the April 2024 Innovating Payments Executive Summary. In this month’s lead story, Nacha Rules take aim at credit-push fraud. For the first time, receiving financial institutions (RDFIs) will have a defined role in monitoring the ACH payments they receive. In other news, a landmark antitrust class action settlement has been reached between U.S. merchants and Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. to address payment card interchange fees and merchant discount claims. 

Also, in this month’s issue, Cornerstone Advisors report, “What’s Going on in Banking 2024: Finding the Next Wave to Ride,” states that the “’ next wave’ isn’t simply deploying new technologies; it’s finding and using technology to create new strategies and strategic directions.” Zelle is also making headlines with a transaction volume of $806 billion in 2023, up 28 percent from the prior year. The company is also partnering with the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust to launch a military-focused fraud and scam education program. Meanwhile, the American Bankers Association and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced a joint effort to combat the rapid rise in check fraud. 

Read on to learn more.


Lead Stories

New Nacha Rules Take Aim at Credit-Push Fraud

"Nacha members have approved a set of rules intended to reduce the incidence of fraud, such as business email compromise (BEC), that use credit-push payments," said a company news release. "The new rules establish a base level of ACH payment monitoring on all parties in the ACH Network (except consumers). While the new rules do not shift the liability for ACH payments, for the first time receiving financial institutions (RDFIs) will have a defined role in monitoring the ACH payments they receive."

“All participants in the ACH Network have a part to play in reducing the incidence of fraud and recovering when fraud has occurred,” said Jane Larimer, Nacha President and CEO, in the release. “I applaud Nacha’s members for taking this important step of self-governance.”

Following the flow of a credit-push payment, the new rules promote fraud detection from origination to receipt at an RDFI account.

The rules empower the ODFI to request the return of the payment for any reason when fraud is detected. They also allow the RDFI to delay the funds availability within the limits of Reg. CC to examine the payment more closely and return a suspicious transaction without waiting for a request or customer claim. This feature has existed for some time, but RDFIs are reminded of this extended availability timeframe. An additional rule facilitates RDFI transaction monitoring by applying a standard transaction description for ACH credits for payroll payments and online purchases.

 

U.S. Merchants Enter into Landmark Class Action Settlement with Visa and Mastercard to Eliminate Anti-Competitive Restraints and Reduce Swipe Fees

A landmark antitrust class action settlement has been reached between U.S. merchants and Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. to address payment card interchange fees and merchant discount claims. The settlement, among the largest in U.S. antitrust in history, is awaiting approval by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The class includes all merchants accepting Visa or Mastercard debit or credit cards in the U.S. between Dec. 18, 2020, and the court's final judgment entry date.

The settlement will deliver billions of near- and long-term savings to U.S. merchants. Following approval of the settlement, merchants will realize at least $29.79 billion in savings in the five years following approval of the settlement from agreed-upon caps and rollbacks on credit card processing fees, or "swipe fees." Experts expect substantially greater savings as the agreed-upon policy changes provide merchants of all sizes with new negotiating leverage against Visa and Mastercard. 

Michael Freed, co-lead counsel, said, "This is about securing policy changes that empower merchants over the long term, promote competition, and restore balance to the market." 

The co-lead counsel, Linda Nussbaum, said, "This settlement implements tools that will benefit merchants, big and small while ensuring that the ecosystem remains conducive to the innovation that serves both merchants and consumers. In addition to rollbacks and caps, a merchant education program will facilitate merchant understanding of the rules changes and the benefits that can be achieved."

"The Settlement Agreement opens competitive doors that have been closed for decades while providing rate relief to every merchant that accepts Visa or Mastercard credit cards," said Nobel laureate economist Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, who submitted a declaration on the settlement and its effects.

To view the key terms of the settlement, click here.

 

What’s Going on in Banking 2024: Finding the Next Wave to Ride

According to Cornerstone Advisors’ latest report, “What’s Going in Banking 2024: Finding the Next Wave to Ride,” the “next wave isn’t simply deploying new technologies; it’s finding and using technology to create new strategies and strategic directions.” The report takes “a deep dive into the strategic, operational, and technology-related plans of 359 community banks and credit unions surveyed by Cornerstone Advisors.”

Key findings of the study, as noted on the company’s website, include: 

  • Six in 10 bankers are optimistic about the industry’s prospects for the coming year (up 5% from last year). Yet 52% anticipate a recession or downturn in the economy.
  • The percentage of financial institutions that view Big Tech and megabanks as threats increased significantly for 2024.
  • 15% of banks plan to reduce their technology spending in 2024—the largest percentage in the history of “What’s Going On In Banking."
  • 23% of banks and 27% of credit unions say they’ll never be done with their digital transformation strategies. (Cornerstone applauds these institutions.)
  • Creating new products and services is banks’ No. 1 objective for fintech partnerships in 2024. For credit unions, it is improving deposit account opening productivity.

Click here to download the full report and learn what it might mean for your financial institution. 

 

Zelle

Zelle® Soars with $806 Billion Transaction Volume, up 28% from Prior Year 

Early Warning Services, LLC, the network operator of Zelle, drove the popular person-to-person (P2P) service to new heights in 2023. According to a company’s news release, 2023 highlights include: 

  • Consumers and small businesses sent 2.9 billion transactions totaling $806 billion in 2023, up 28% year-over-year.
  • One hundred twenty million consumer and small business user accounts leveraged Zelle through their financial institution in 2023.
  • Q4 2023 was the largest quarter to date, with users transacting more than $219 billion across the Zelle Network®. That means an average of over $100 million was sent per hour.

The company also addressed fraud concerns, pointing out that less than one-tenth of one percent of transactions were reported as fraud or scams in 2023. “That percentage continues to get smaller due to a layered security approach, including services like Risk Insights for Zelle,” says Zelle, “which provides network participants with real-time information to assess potentially high-risk transactions.”

Click here to learn more. 

 

Zelle Teams up with the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust to Launch Military-Focused Fraud and Scam Education Program

In other news, “Zelle® is partnering with the BBB Institute for Marketplace Trust(BBB Institute), the Better Business Bureau’s® educational foundation, and the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) to help educate and empower our nation’s active-duty military, veterans, and their families on financial security,” according to a company news release.  

Research reveals that military service members are 40% more likely to lose money to scams and fraud than the civilian population, making scam awareness and education essential for the military community. Through a year-long "train-the-trainer" program, the BBB Institute will prepare trainers to deliver monthly in-person and virtual training to military and veteran communities across the United States. 

"Our nation's veterans and military personnel can face unique challenges when it comes to their banking experiences," Steven J. Lepper, president, and CEO of the Association of Military Banks of America, said in the release. "Programs like these can help alleviate the stress our military and veteran customers feel when making financial decisions." 

To learn more about this initiative, click here.

 

Miscellaneous

ABA, U.S. Postal Services Jointly Combat Check Fraud

“The American Bankers Association and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service today announced a new joint effort to combat the rapid rise in check fraud, which has increased nationwide by 385% since the pandemic, according to the U.S. Treasury Department,” says an ABA news release. “Check fraud schemes commonly target the U.S. mail to steal checks, alter or wash them to change the payee and dollar amount, and ultimately steal money from victims’ accounts.”

The joint initiative will focus on four main areas: educating U.S. Postal Service and bank customers about check fraud and how to protect themselves; addressing money mules and collusive account holders; collaborating with law enforcement; and training bank employees and postal workers on red flags and prevention.

“We appreciate this opportunity to join with U.S. Postal Inspection Service to inform and protect consumers,” ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said in the release. “Working together to address the unprecedented rise in check fraud offers us a number of opportunities to make a difference, including educating the public on how to safely use the mail system to send checks while also taking advantage of the advancements in payments technology banks offer.” 

To kick off this partnership, ABA and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service released a new consumer resource to educate consumers about check washing and how to protect their mail and their checks.

 

NEACH

As you consider how the new Nacha Rules impact your organization and how to address check fraud in all of its iterations, join us for NEACH’s 2024 Payments Management Conference, May 20-21, 2024, at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT for relevant sessions. Join payments professionals at every level as they gather for a one-of-a-kind conference for two days filled with education, networking, and opportunity.

Click here to learn more or to register.

 

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AUTHOR: Joe Casali, AAP, NCP
Executive Vice President

As the EVP of Payments Innovation for NEACH, Joe focuses on exploring innovative solutions and technologies that will help position members for success, both now and in the future. Connect with Joe to read more of his blogs, articles, and posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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