News & Resources

Court decision potentially changes ACH payment security responsibilities

Jul 26, 2012 Dave King

Wire transfer and Automated Clearinghouse payments, can be exceptionally advantageous for financial institutions, consumers, businesses and providers of payment processing services. However, the integrity of the systems, whether they be ACH cards or wire, has been the focal point of discussions in recent months, as payment security is imperative. Computerworld recently reported that a federal appeals court set a new precedent that will put more responsibility on the financial institution in the event of ACH payment fraud. The decision came during a case in Maine that involved a construction company losing almost $600,000 from fraudulent wire transfers. The court decided the defendant financial institution's security measures was not "commercially reasonable." This, the source notes, goes against a decision in 2011 from a lower court. One sign of the lack of oversight could be seen when assessing the amounts of each fraudulent transfer, which ranged between more than $50,000 to over $110,000. The construction company's payroll never exceeded $37,000, making these ACH payments very obviously incorrect. Businesses can benefit from these capabilities by ensuring they choose a proven payment processing provider.