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What is a Originating Depository Financial Institution  ?

Originating Depository Financial Institution (ODFI) – Financial institution which originally submitted the ACH entry for processing to the ACH Operator. Except in rare cases, this is always the biller’s deposit financial institution.

It is a banking term in the United States used in connection with Automated Clearing House (ACH). In the ACH flow, the ODFI acts as the interface between the Federal Reserve or ACH network and the originator of the transaction. The ODFI warrants to the ACH network that the transactions it transmits to the network comply with the rules. The depository institution that is a member of ACH is usually a bank or other financial institution which is initiating a payment on behalf of its client. This is different from check processing in which the paying bank on which the check is drawn warrants that the transaction is in compliance.

  1. An Originator– whether that’s an individual, a corporation or another entity– initiates either a Direct Deposit or Direct Payment transaction using the ACH Network. ACH transactions can be either debit or credit payments and commonly include Direct Deposit of payroll, government and Social Security benefits, mortgage and bill payments, online banking payments, person-to-person (P2P) and business-to-business (B2B) payments, to name a few.
  2. Instead of using paper checks, ACH entries are entered and transmitted electronically, making transactions quicker, safer and easier.
  3. The Originating Depository Financial institution (ODFI) enters the ACH entry at the request of the Originator.
  4. The ODFI aggregates payments from customers and transmits them in batches at regular, predetermined intervals to an ACH Operator.
  5. ACH Operators (two central clearing facilities: The Federal Reserve or The Clearing House) receive batches of ACH entries from the ODFI.
  6. The ACH transactions are sorted and made available by the ACH Operator to the Receiving Depository Financial Institution (RDFI).
  7. The Receiver’s account is debited or credited by the RDFI, according to the type of ACH entry. Individuals, businesses and other entities can all be Receivers.
  8. Each ACH credit transaction settles in one to two business days, and each debit transaction settles in just one business day, as per the Rules.

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