Columbus, Ga.-based Synovus Financial has become a direct financial institution member of NACHA, the Herndon, Va.-based ACH association. Synovus joins 23 other financial institutions and 18 regional payment associations in this group of 41 that assists in setting the organization's direction.
A depository financial institution may be a member of NACHA, in addition to its memberships in one or more regional payments associations. The option of direct membership in NACHA has been available since the association's reorganization seven years ago. According to Michael Herd, a NACHA spokesman, the major benefits of NACHA direct membership to financial institutions include:
- Voting on the NACHA Operating Rules. The rules govern the use of the network and are the primary vehicle for enabling new ACH products and services;
- Additional ability to serve on NACHA's Board of Directors, participate in the NACHA rulemaking process, and on various other NACHA committees and task forces;
- Complimentary membership in one of NACHA's industry councils;
- Discounts on the annual Payments conference and other services such as the annual ACH rule book, publications and teleseminars;
- Networking with peers at other financial institutions, and greater access to ACH and other payments industry experts.
According to NACHA's Herd, Synovus' membership is a clear indication of the importance the bank places on providing treasury management and payment products and services to its corporate customers. In joining NACHA as a direct member, Synovus shows it wants to have greater involvement in the development and direction of the ACH network. The relationships forged with financial institutions are mutually beneficial as well.
"Members are the lifeblood of any association," Herd says. "For NACHA, adding members provides a greater pool of resources and volunteers to conduct the association's business, and adds additional perspectives on the direction of the ACH network and the payments system."