The latest round of Covid relief payments will start reaching many checking and savings accounts at big banks by 9 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the trade group that governs the ACH Network payment system.
After the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law last week, there was some confusion — and plenty of grumbling — over when the “economic impact payments” would be available.
“After Wells Fargo & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. told their customers they wouldn’t receive their stimulus money until this week, consumers flooded social media with complaints,” Bloomberg’s Jennifer Surane reports. “But banks were quick to note they haven’t been given the money yet.”
Nine banking and credit union industry groups issued a statement Tuesday saying that the availability of the funds was determined by the Internal Revenue Service, not by them: “While the IRS could have chosen to send the funds via Same Day ACH or provided for an earlier effective date, it chose not to do so. It is up to the sender, in this case the IRS, to decide when it wants the money to be made available and the IRS chose March 17.”
Banks will receive the money from the government at 8:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday. “This is literally the moment in time when the money will be transferred from the government to banks’ and credit unions’ settlement accounts at the Federal Reserve,” Nacha, the group governing the ACH Network, said in a statement. “There is no mystery where the money is from the time the first payment file was transmitted on Friday, March 12 to when all recipients will have access to the money on Wednesday—it is still with the government.”
Some banks and financial technology companies did begin depositing billions of dollars’ worth of payments into customer accounts ahead of the official payment date after they were notified by the IRS that their customers would be eligible for the payments.
Once they receive the money Wednesday morning, banks must make it available to account holders by 9 a.m. ET.
More than 100 million payments are reportedly expected to go out Wednesday via direct deposit, but not all direct deposits will go out at the same time — and some payments will go out in the form of checks or debit cards that will be sent by mail.