CUNA Comment Letter
CUNA Supports Treasury's ACH Rules Allowing for Electronic Records, Signatures & Authorizations
June 10, 2002
Mr. John Galligan, Director
Cash Management Policy and Planning Division
Financial Management Service
U.S. Department of the Treasury
401 14th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20227
Re: Federal Government Participation in the ACH - 31 CFR Part 210
Dear Mr. Galligan:
The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Department of the Treasurys (Treasury) interim final rule that governs the use of the automated clearing house (ACH) system by federal agencies. CUNA, a national trade association, represents more than 90 percent of the nations 10,600 state and federal credit unions. CUNA supports this interim rule.
Treasury has issued an interim final rule that incorporates recent changes made to the ACH rules by NACHA-The Electronic Payments Association. The interim final rule will make the following changes:
- The interim rule will allow any affidavit required by ACH rules to be obtained and retained in an electronic form. In addition, the interim rule will clarify that the affidavit must be a "written statement under penalty of perjury," but does not have to be notarized.
- The interim rule will facilitate the use of electronic agreements and electronic storage of records in conformance with the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign Act). This rule will allow any agreement, authorization, affidavit or other record required to be executed in an electronic form. The term record includes notices, disclosures, and other forms that must be provided.
- The interim rule will limit the number of times that an ACH item may be reinitiated after it has been returned because the account has insufficient or uncollected funds. The limit will be a maximum of three times total for all presentments.
- The interim rule validates as authorization any electronic signature that complies with the recently enacted E-Sign Act. This change is consistent with Regulation E, which was amended to comply with the E-Sign Act. It allows an electronic authorization to be authenticated by the consumer through a process that establishes the consumer's identity and his or her agreement to authorize the transaction.
- In addition, the interim rule requires that the city and state of a terminal used to initiate a point-of-purchase electronic check payment be included on the consumer's receipt and printed on the consumer's monthly periodic statement. This requirement also conforms with recent changes to Regulation E.
CUNA supports all of these changes by Treasury that make the ACH rules for federal agencies more consistent with other laws, regulations and rules because consistency reduces the potential for confusion and helps consumers. In particular, CUNA supports Treasurys adoption of rules that allow for the electronic usage of records, signatures, affidavits and authorizations consistent with the E-SIGN Act and Regulation E. Treasurys rule also includes provisions limiting the number of times that a single ACH item may be represented and requiring that a receiving financial institution include the city and state of the point-of-purchase terminal on its members monthly statement. These provisions make Treasurys ACH rules consistent with NACHAs ACH rules. They also help consumers by reducing insufficient funds charges to their accounts and by providing consumers with information to help them identify the transactions that appear on their statements.
If you have any further questions, please contact CUNA's Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn or me at (202) 638-5777.
Sincerely, Michelle Q. Profit Assistant General Counsel