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NEW YORK – WesPay, a regional payments association serving the western U.S. and Pacific regions, is already seeing fruits from its strategic partnership with Electronic Payments Network. The two announced that the $4 billion Golden 1 CU, California’s largest CU, is converting its ACH processing from the Fed to EPN. “We were very pleased with the conversion process. The project was completed on time.and best of all had no impact on our members,” said Mike Grommesh SVP of The Golden 1 CU. Credit unions really have two choices for ACH processing, the Fed or now EPN. Previously EPN served the New York metropolitan area, but recently went national. EPN’s Windows-based ACH-processing functionality was one reason cited for the conversion. EPN is also slightly cheaper than the Fed. Other system features include real-time management and monitoring tools, an automated Electronic Data Interchange translation module, credit origination control functions, and a history database that helps with returned items. WesPay CEO Gerard Milano said as ACH payments continue to grow it’s going to make sense for credit unions to connect to both the Fed and EPN just for the sake of redundancy. “If you couldn’t get your payrolls through, you’d be in sad shape. It doesn’t take long for the local media to find you’re out of business with respect to payroll,” said Milano. WesPay is one of about 20 regional payment associations. Each day its members collect and clear more than five million checks totaling $7 billion. WesPay is also the oldest member of NACHA, which sets the rules governing ACH. Interestingly, even as ACH increases among institutions the 20 regional payment associations aren’t really competitive with each other yet, but that could change if consolidation happens said Milano. “The regional associations function geographically. There’s not a lot of overlap,” he said. Why belong to a payments association such as WesPay? Milano said the main reason is expertise. “Credit unions can’t maintain the ACH experts on staff. The way in which they take care of the occasional problem with an ACH transaction is to rely on our help desk,” said Milano. He said a CU may see a problem with an ACH that it hasn’t seen in months or years so it doesn’t have the recall on how to handle it. One of the most common ACH problems the WesPay help desk deals with is an unauthorized telephonic transfer that was posted to a member’s account. “We’ll lay out how to get it reversed and get the money back for the members,” said Milano. [email protected]

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