Catalyst News

Nacha CEO Jane Larimer on New Role, Same-Day ACH and the Future of Payments

by Catalyst Corporate | Jul 02, 2019

Nacha’s introduction of a new brand identity earlier this year isn’t its only recent development. July 1, 2019 marked the start of a new chapter for the payments organization, as Jane Larimer assumed leadership as President and CEO.

In addition to leading Nacha’s ACH payments initiatives, Larimer – the organization’s former COO and General Counsel – will be a featured speaker at Catalyst Corporate’s 2019 Economic and Payments Forum this fall. In her first interview as Nacha CEO, she shared her views on the ACH Network, the future of payments and her vision for Nacha.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role as Nacha President and CEO?

“From electronic benefits transfer to the ACH Network, I’ve invested the bulk of my career at Nacha in the advancement of many different initiatives that bring stakeholders together to solve payment industry needs. I look forward to leading our fantastic team, innovating to make things better for the industry and continuing to do the important work we’ve been doing for many years now,” Larimer said.

What are some of your top priority/high-level initiatives for Nacha in this new position?

“My top priorities include growing the ACH Network, making Same Day ACH even more valuable by adding a later day window, and making it easier for businesses to onboard vendors and route payments using Nacha’s Business Payments Federated Directory,” she said.

In keeping with this season of change, Nacha recently revamped its visual identity.

“The brand refresh was completed to better express our unified purpose for all Nacha programs and initiatives. Prior to the rebranding, we had multiple visual identities. We wanted to unite the different ways we engage with our stakeholders to develop rules and standards that help advance the ACH Network and the digital future of the financial services industry,” said Larimer.

Outside of the internal changes underway at Nacha, Larimer shared her views on the future of payments.

“It’s all about choices,” she said. “Whether it’s ACH, Same Day ACH, instant payments or other new methods, I think the future will allow for more choices. And, more choices are a good thing.”

Larimer added that a common misbelief today surrounds the emergence of new payment methods. “There’s this idea that if something new comes out, something old must go away. In the future, I think there will be more choices and more ways for consumers to make payments. Cash and checks are an example of this. While we continue to see fewer checks, they didn’t just instantly disappear when new payment methods emerged.”

How will all the various “faster payments” and “real-time payments” channels eventually work together? 

Larimer restated that she believes there is room and opportunity for all payments. “As new instant and faster payment initiatives roll out, payers will make choices about how quickly they want their payments to move and what kind of information will move with their payments.”

However, more choices will demand more options and more product offerings on the part of financial institutions.

“To offer the payment choices people want, credit unions need to be talking to their members, clients and family members to find out what’s working for them, and then develop an appropriate portfolio of offerings,” she added.

What were some key industry takeaways from the roll out of the first round of Same Day ACH?

“We’ve seen some significant developments since we debuted Same Day ACH in 2016. Volume increased 137 percent from 2017 to 2018,” Larimer said. “Businesses and financial institutions of all sizes embraced the benefits of Same Day ACH, and that’s what’s caused volume to jump over 100 percent.”

“In terms of overall ACH volume, we’ve had six billion payments clear the ACH Network this quarter. We’re experiencing strong volume growth, which means increasingly more people are seeing the value of moving to electronic payments.”

Lastly, how do you hope to impact the payments industry during your time in leadership?

“I hope to continue advancing the proposition that the industry and payments systems work best when participants come together to create solutions and solve problems,” Larimer said.

For more on this topic, don’t miss Larimer’s presentation at the Economic & Payments Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. Registration is now open under Learning Center/Conferences.