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F ederal r eser ve b a n k of Dallas


C irc u la r No. 78-145
October 13, 1978


To protect the p riv a c y of those ind ivid u als participating in the electronic
funds transfer system, the Federal Reserve System has adopted a new data reten­
tion schedule for automated clearinghouse (ACH) transactions. T h is new ACH data
retention policy, which includes both Federal re c u r r in g payments and p riv a te sec­
tor transactions, w ill be effective November 6, 1978. T h is policy has been approved
by both the National Automated Clearinghouse Association and the Southwestern
Automated Clearinghouse Association. T h e areas of the data retention policy that
w ill d ire c tly impact the financial organizations p articipating in the ACH program
a re listed b e lo w .

Magnetic tape input files (original and remakes) will
be retained by the Federal Reserve Bank three b u s i­
ness days after settlement and then erased before be­
ing re tu rn e d to the orig in atin g financial organization.


M icrofiche records w ith individ ual transaction data
w ill be retained 60 business days after settlement and
then d e s tro y e d .


M icrofiche records w ithout in d ivid u al transaction data
w ill be retained one y e a r after creation and then
d e s tro y e d .

T h e erasing of an o rigin ating financial organization's magnetic tape in­
put file means that the Federal Reserve Bank w ill degauss all input tapes before
th e ir re tu rn to the o rig in a to r. When a tape is erased by u tilizin g a degausser, the
internal tape label is also erased; th erefore, the tape w ill have to be re -in itia liz e d
by the origin ating financial organization or processor before it can be used in
production again.
T h e retention of individ ual transaction data for only 60 days after settle­
ment means that after this time period there w ill be no record of an in d ivid u al's

Banks and others are encouraged to use the fo llo w in g incom ing W ATS numbers in contacting this Bank:
1-800-492-4403 (intrastate) and 1-800-527-4970 (interstate). For calls placed locally, please use 651 plus
the extension referred to above. - •

This publication was digitized and made available by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas' Historical Library (

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name, the in d ivid u al's account number at his financial organization, or other
individ ual identification, such as Social Security number or insurance policy num­
b e r . T h e re fo re , if it is necessary for you r financial organization to contact the
Federal Reserve Bank concerning an ACH transaction afte r the 60-day retention
perio d , the transaction w ill have to be researched by using the 15 d ig it trace num­
ber which u n iquely identifies each e n tr y . For this reason, it is necessary for the
ap p ro priate personnel in you r organization to be aw are of this change and the im­
portance of the trace number in identifying ACH transactions.
If you have any questions concerning this m atter, please contact M r.
Donald Jackson, ACH Manager at this B ank, E xt. 6342; M r . L a r r y Wilson, ACH
Manager at the El Paso B ran ch , (915) 544-4730 E xt. 58; M r. John Bullock, ACH
Manager at the Houston B ran ch , (713) 659-4433 E x t. 16; M r . H enry Juenke, ACH
Manager at the San Antonio B ran ch , (512) 224-2141 E xt. 59.
Sincerely y o u rs ,
Robert H . Boykin
First V ice President

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102