Payment Requestors
ASAP Payment Formats

These documents provide ASAP payment requestors with the information necessary to receive and post payments originated by the Federal Government through the ASAP system. These payments include Automated Clearing House (ACH) credits as well as funds transfers made via the Federal Reserve Bank's wire transfer system (Fedwire).

The formats included here are the ASAP Fedwire format, the ASAP ACH CTX Entry Detail Record Layout, and the ASAP ACH CTX Remittance Information mapping.

This documents also provides formats and procedures for returning funds to the ASAP system.



Providing flexibility regarding the types of payments that ASAP is capable of originating is essential not only in promptly meeting the funding requirements of the system's customers, but also in making Federal payments as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. Certain situations demand reliable, same-day payments, whereas others may be able to schedule payments for future dates. Although Fedwire is more costly than other payment mechanisms, the real-time settlement of payments and security associated with sending multi-million dollar transactions by wire more than justifies the cost. The use of the ACH network for payment is equally secure, permits payments to be scheduled for future dates, and is extremely cost effective. ACH is the preferred payment mechanism for the ASAP system.

The Fedwire System

Fedwire FormatPortable Document Format File

ASAP provides an automated interface with the Federal Reserve Bank's Fedwire system which allows payment requestors' financial institutions to receive credit for Fedwires minutes after the payment request is approved. Even though wires are received by requestors' financial institutions, the requestors must arrange with their financial institutions to have these transactions reported to them as quickly as possible.

Fedwire payments settle upon execution of the transaction. This immediate settlement provides an additional degree of certainty that the payment has been executed; however, there are additional costs for both the originator and receiver of Fedwire transactions. The immediate settlement of Fedwires is ideal for payment applications such as Controlled Disbursement or Zero Balance Accounts (ZBA). The Fedwire format permits the inclusion of a limited amount of free text that may be used to provide information regarding the nature of the payment. Due to the limited amount of space available for remittance information, the Fedwire format is more suited to individual, large dollar payments that are able to justify the additional cost associated with this payment mechanism. In addition, the same-day settlement of Fedwire is ideal as a contingency payment mechanism in the event that an ACH payment is not requested in time for next day settlement. See the ASAP Fedwire Format for wire payments resulting from payment requests made via ASAP.

The Automated Clearinghouse (ACH)

ACH FormatPDF File

Due to the fully automated nature of ASAP, cut-off times are able to be extended to 11:59 p.m. Eastern time for next day ACH payments. Payment requestors are also able to make multiple requests from multiple accounts. Multiple requests for funds from different accounts, even multiple requests from different Federal Agencies (FAs), can be consolidated into a single Summary Payment. Information is provided with the payment to describe each of the components of the Summary Payment.

ACH credits originated by the ASAP system appear in the standard National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA)Exit FMS Web Site Corporate Trade Exchange (CTX) format. ASAP ACH payments are made by CTX in order to take advantage of this format's extensive number of available addenda records that are used to carry remittance information. See the ASAP ACH Format for the record layouts.

Payments made by the ACH CTX payment mechanism settle and should be available the next business day. In addition to the transaction cost being considerably less than Fedwire, the CTX format also allows Payment Requestors to receive a single summary payment consisting of multiple requests for funds made against various ASAP accounts. This is possible because the CTX format is capable of supporting up to 9,999 addenda records. These addenda records are ideally suited for transmitting detailed remittance data.

Remittance Information for ASAP ACH Payments

820 MappingPDF File
820 Implementation ConventionPDF File

The remittance information includes, but is not limited to, the following types of information: the name of the Recipient Organization, the name of the Federal Agency from which funds are being requested, as well as an item by item breakdown of the total amount being requested for payment.

The format for the ASAP remittance information in the addenda records follows the ANSI X12 standard 820 transaction set (Payment Order/Remittance Advice), version 3040. See the ASAP 820 Mapping for an easy to read mapping, including envelopes, of ASAP data in the ASAP 820. The formal ASAP 820 Implementation Convention shows this information at the transaction set level in an industry-standard document format. The ASAP 820 is a Federally approved Implementation Convention version 3040 transaction sets, 820A.

Note: The ASAP 820 has changed in July, 1998 to include an additional segment in the RMR loop.

Returning Funds to the ASAP System

Return of Funds ProceduresPDF File

Payment Requestors/Recipient Organizations may request their financial institution to return funds to ASAP via either the Fedwire or ACH systems. See the Procedures for Returning Funds for detailed formats and procedures.

All File Formats

Single File: All FormatsPortable Document Format File (191 KB)

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