ACH Origination Basics

The following guide has been provided courtesy of UMACHA concerning the basic rights and activities of an ACH provider.

Updated over a week ago

The purpose of this guide is to provide a high-level, easy to comprehend understanding of the Nacha Operating Rules & Guidelines for companies Originating ACH transactions.

Understanding the Rules is important, because violations can incur hefty fines. A strong

understanding of the basics can also help streamline your ACH Origination processes and procedures.

If you are a payroll customer, these are our binding rules and guidelines and all customers (Originators) should be familiar.

For 2024 - here is some more updated information on Micro-Entries

What is a Micro-Entry?

Micro-Entries are small dollar debit and/or credit transactions sent to an employee’s/customer’s/vendor’s account for the purpose of verifying they have access to that account. Micro-Entry credit transactions must be for less than $1.00, and the dollar amount of any debit Micro-Entries cannot be more than the dollar amount of any credit Micro-Entries sent.

Why should Micro-Entries be sent?

Micro-Entries can, in some cases, provide greater assurance than a Prenotification that the account you intend to send transactions to is owned by the employee/customer/vendor since they must be able to sign into online banking or otherwise access the Receiver’s account to confirm the dollar amounts of the Micro-Entries.

When should Micro-Entries be sent?

Micro-Entries are one method of performing account validation, which is a requirement before sending WEB entries to a new or changed account number. However, Micro-Entries can be sent for entries other than WEB when you want to perform account validation to have greater certainty you have the correct account information before sending subsequent entries.

How does the validation process work?

The employee/customer/vendor receiving the Micro-Entries must confirm the dollar amount of the Micro-Entries you send to their account to validate they have access to the account. Once this validation has been completed, you may begin to send authorized transactions to that account. If there are issues with the Micro-Entries, like they are returned or the employee/customer/vendor cannot verify the amounts, you should research to determine what the issue was. It is likely that the account information provided was incorrect.

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