HERNDON, Va. - The board of directors of Nacha, the electronic payments association, has approved an amendment to allow cross-border electronic debits to be made using the automated clearing house network.

The amendment also provides legal protections for ACH network participants necessitated by the narrowing of operating rules for international clearing house payments.

"The increasing globalization of business has created the demand for a more efficient, cost-effective means of executing cross-border payments," said Elliott McEntee, president and chief executive officer of the association. "Nacha has responded by preparing the ACH network to handle international electronic payments."

On Sept. 15, previously approved operating rules become effective establishing the consumer cross-border transaction and corporate cross-border transaction standard entry class codes for the clearing house network. These rules provide for credit payments; the new ones that were just approved also take effect Sept. 15 and allow debits to be made.

The Nacha operating rules standardize formats for the ACH network and define the rights, obligations, and warranties of parties involved in these payments. They provide a uniform business and legal framework for the exchange of payments, which enhances participants' confidence in the system's safety and reliability.

The revised international rules were adopted by Nacha's Cross-Border Council in February 1999.

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