by Susan Rushing
We live in an acronym-loving world. Nobody ever just laughs anymore, we LOL. And if you need something in a hurry, it’s ASAP. We bankers are no exception; we love a good acronym as much as the next person.
So, what I have to say is important, but it requires a bit of an acronym-tutorial for you to follow. Consider this your official cheat sheet:
ACH: Automated Clearing House
RDC: Remote Deposit Capture
AAP: Accredited ACH Professional (Sure enough, we even have an acronym in an acronym!)
NACHA: National ACH Association
Ready now? Here we go:
If you are currently an ACH originator or you are thinking of becoming one, finding a financial institution with an AAP on staff should be a priority. The AAP certification establishes professional standards based on best practices in the industry as defined by NACHA. The certification requires intensive study and processing experience, passing a grueling exam, and ongoing education requirements. A banker with an AAP accreditation is highly skilled and can help you understand ACH required rules, risk mitigation, and industry best practices.
ECCU (c’mon, you know this one) is committed to a strong and secure ACH program, and we currently have six AAPs on staff. How does this help our members? One ministry member was having difficulty importing her ACH file into our online banking module. Her donor file had more than 8,000 entries, and she did not know where the error occurred. She called our support team, and one of our on-staff AAPs securely reviewed her file and found a missing account number. The staff member then walked her through correction, the file was uploaded, and those 8,000 donor transactions were completed!
An AAP can also help when a ministry is looking to start a new type of ACH processing. For example, we had a ministry request to start TEL transactions. (Oops, another acronym. TEL transactions are made when an oral authorization is received via the telephone.) One of our AAPs contacted the ministry to discuss the transactions, and through that dialogue realized TEL transactions were not a good fit for the ministry. Our AAP helped them understand how to improve their agreement with their clients to obtain authorization up front, eliminating the need for the phone call and streamlining their payments activity.
Do you have a success story from working with an AAP? Post a comment to share with our readers.