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How NACH (National Automated Clearing House) is different from ECS?


National Automated Clearing House (NACH) is a form of Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) which is available with core-banking enabled bank branches in India. NACH has primarily two variants viz. ECS credit and ECS debit. The facility is used by the bank customers for automatic debit to their account every month to pay certain bills like telephone bills, electricity bills, loan installments, insurance premium etc. The corporates/institutions also using the above system for making bulk payments of amounts towards the distribution of dividends, interest, salary, pensions etc. which will be directly credited to beneficiaries’ bank account. There are four categories of electronic clearing services in India namely Local ECS, Regional ECS and National ECS and NACH.The former three categories of services are operated either by RBI or by the designated commercial banks based on geographical location of branches,  the last one NACH runs on all India platforms operated by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).

Very soon, on full implementation, all the existing ECS mandates will be moved to the NACH platform.  NACH would replace and consolidate over 82000 core-banking enabled branches of 1000 plus banks under multiple ECS systems with the single set of rules for all participants, service providers and users.However, no intervention from users will be necessary for migration of ECS suite to NACH. A web-based solution for electronic clearing services on all India platforms; NACH has many inbuilt security features and multiple levels data validation facilities accessible to banks, financial institutions, corporates, Government as well the retail customers.The new-fangled set up provides a range of benefits to the participants, some of which are listed below.

  1. NACH (an ISO20022 compliant clearing house) follows the synchronization of high-security standards and best practices for quick and reliable transactions.
  2. The arrangements under NACH system eliminates the local barriers and facilitates the same day transactions coverage of all core-banking enabled branches anywhere in India.
  3. The NACH system supports financial inclusion through its Aadhar Payment Bridge (APB) variant, enabling the Government and Government agencies to implement Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) schemes like MNREGA, Social Security Pension, Old age pension, LPG subsidy etc. Thus, the arrangement under ACH (Automated Clearing House) enables direct credit of subsidies and other benefits to the beneficiaries using Aadhar linked accounts in banks.
  4. The structure of NACH allows member banks to design their own products to ensure the precise needs of their corporate clients, Government and individual beneficiaries.
  5. The schemes under NACH framework provide Customised MIS to banks.
  6. The system will be the robust, digitally secure and accessible platform, with the  on-line end to end monitoring of the transactions and file-based transaction processing capabilities with the 4-eye concept (two individuals approve the same before the action takes place).
  7. The system has the scope for multiple intra-day sessions.
  8. The ACH (Automated Clearing House) structure is cost effective for all the participants due to reduced operational cost.
  9. The DCA facility under which the file upload will be done by the corporate themselves which would reduce the work load of the sponsor banks.
  10. The framework of online Dispute Management System (DMS) allows tracking of the transaction life cycle for a period of 10 years.

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