What is NACHA File Format? Definition and Meaning - Ikajo Glossary


NACHA File Format

NACHA file format is one of the most popular types of payment files. A NACHA file allows to execute domestic ACH payments through the Automated Clearing House Network.  NACHA file looks like a payment instruction file. It gets sent or uploaded to a bank portal to execute a mass payment batch. NACHA files demand unique formatting with specifications. While the details of the file format can vary a bit between various financial institutions or banks, there are a number of Standard Entry Class Codes (SEC codes) that relate to ACH payment files.

NACHA ACH as a payment method. ACH is becoming the payment method of choice for B2B payments and mass payments alike because of the low fees, quick delivery, and overall reliability. ACH payments allow to transfer funds from one account to another, enabling the ACH network to clear those payments. NACHA (previously known as the National Automated Clearing House Association) regulated the process. The ACH network processess over $43 trillion and 25 billion transactions annually.

What is an ACH transfer?

An ACH transfer is an electronic, bank-to-bank transfer led by the Automated Clearing House network. Here are the four types of ACH transfers:

  • external funds transfer;
  • person-to-person payment;
  • bill payment;
  • direct deposit from the employers and government benefit programs.
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