Automated Clearing House transfers, how do they work?

An ACH transfer is one of the main ways to send or receive money online. Automated Clearing House transfers account for the online bill payments you make and the direct deposits you receive, along with other transfers. Here’s a guide to how they work at Northern Credit Union:

Everyday Monday – Friday transactions are processed 6x a day.

  • At 5:00 AM deposits and then withdrawals are posted in the order of lowest to the highest dollar amount.
  • At 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, and 5:30 PM deposits and then withdrawals are posted again
  • 4:00 PM is when Bill Pay e-payments are processed. The payments process automatically on the send date to be received by the payee on the delivery date chosen. After ACHs checks are issued and will clear as processed by the payee.
  • At the end of the night at 8:00 PM for 45-60 minutes, during what we like to call the “Goodnight Process” all internal transfers and payments made within Northern are completed. This includes member-to-member payments and loan payments.

There are some exceptions to keep in mind. If any information is incorrect, such as having the wrong account number or your account is locked, etc., the transaction isn’t processed automatically and a member of our Special Operations Team analyzes it and either posts the transaction manually or returns it unprocessed.

Learn more about ACHs

The types of ACH transfers include external funds transfers, person-to-person payments, bill payments and direct deposits from employers and government benefit programs. For sending money to friends and family, many transfer providers — including banks, Zelle and third-party apps like PayPal and Venmo — use the ACH network.

Types of ACH transfers

ACH transfers are processed in two ways, which vary in delivery speed and cost:

  • ACH debit transactions involve money getting “pulled” from an account. When you set up a recurring bill payment, for example, the company you’re paying can pull what it’s owed from your account each month.
  • ACH credit transactions let you “push” money online to accounts at different banks, either accounts you own or friends’ and family members’ accounts.

Restrictions on external funds transfers

Sending money via ACH between banks can be convenient, but there are some limitations, including:

  • Amount limits: You may have a daily and monthly cap on how much money you can move.
  • Cutoff times: After a certain hour, a transfer won’t be processed until the next business day. If you send money on a Friday, for instance, processing might not start until the following Monday.
  • Fee for insufficient funds: If you don’t have enough money in your account, your bank might charge you a fee and stop the transfer.

Have questions? Send us a message, chat with us online- click the green chat icon at the bottom right of the page or call or text 315.782.0155.