NACHA Challenge



NACHA Challenge 2018

The NACHA Challenge, a team competition — worth $25,000 in prize money — is designed to foster new ways to to leverage and create innovative solutions to improve efficiencies and added capabilities within the payments ecosystem. This year's "challenge" focuses on innovative solutions that enable consumers to securely and easily supply enrollment information for ACH payments. The NACHA Challenge is open to innovators, thinkers and practitioners from any entity, including corporates, academic institutions, nonprofits, think tanks, financial institutions, solution providers and others.

New technologies and business processes, and evolving customer behavior and expectations are transforming the payments industry. NACHA is challenging the marketplace to submit solutions  — existing or proposed — that enable even more consumers, businesses and governments to use and benefit from ACH payments. Teams are encouraged to think big and creatively. Submission topics are not limited other than they should have direct relevance in whole or in part to the use of ACH.

The deadline for 2018 entries is now closed. Nominations for the 2019 NACHA Challenge will open this fall.

Process & Rules

  1. Teams may consist of individuals from one or many organizations, with a maximum of eight members per team. All team participants and their employers are expected to adhere to the NACHA Code of Conduct and act upon their activities with the highest levels of integrity and professionalism. All team participants and their employers agree not to submit content that infringes upon any third-party proprietary rights. This is an inclusive submission process and is not restricted in any way other than that employees of NACHA are not eligible to participate.
  2. Submissions must be received by NACHA by online submission by 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, with all required elements and optional supporting materials.
  3. There is no cost to submit a proposal for the NACHA Challenge nor does it require membership in any organization. Individuals who are members of teams selected for the final competition at PAYMENTS 2018 who wish to be a part of the presentation must be a registered conference attendee. If they are not otherwise registered for PAYMENTS 2018, these parties should contact NACHA at once the finalists are announced, for assistance in registering for the conference.
  4. The Judges’ Choice and Audience Choice cash prizes will be awarded and paid to individuals, not organizations. The $15,000 and $10,000 team prize amounts will be apportioned equally and disbursed to individual, registered team members. All appropriate tax withholding and reporting requirements apply.
  5. Submitters retain applicable intellectual property rights, however, they acknowledge that they are granting NACHA -The Electronic Payments Association® a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free and irrevocable license to use the intellectual property comprising the Submissions for the limited  purposes of communicating about the NACHA Challenge and rulemaking for the ACH Network.

Evaluation Process

  1. Judges will be drawn from across the NACHA family of organizations comprising the Payments Innovation Alliance, Direct Membership of NACHA, the Board of Directors, the Board Advisory Group and the PAYMENTS 2018 Conference Planning Committee. All appropriate measures will be taken to mitigate any potential conflicts of interest consistent with NACHA policies and practices.
  2. Members of teams selected for the finalist competition shall be notified by NACHA by Wednesday, March 7, 2018.
  3. Teams that qualify for the finalist competition must be represented by at least one team member to present the team’s proposal to judges on Monday, April 30 at the PAYMENTS Innovation Hub in the exhibit hall at PAYMENTS 2018 in San Diego, California. Judging will occur between 12-12:50 p.m. local time that day. Teams will be given 5 minutes to present their idea. Exact timing for presentations will be communicated upon notification of finalists.
  4. The awarding of the $15,000 Judges’ Choice prize will be based on the results of the April 30, presentations. A separate, $10,000 cash prize will be awarded based on audience voting conducted at the beginning of the 2018 NACHA Payments Awards Luncheon. The recipients of the Audience Choice and Judges’ Choice prizes will be announced at the end of the luncheon service. As the awarding of the two prizes is determined separately, a different or the same team could be selected for each.

For More Information

Contact NACHA staff via email at or by phone at 703-561-1100 with questions or to request assistance with your submission.

Frequently Asked Questions


NACHA Challenge

NACHA Challenge Timeline

Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

All nominations are due.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Finalist presentations (in San Diego, California) will take place from 12:20-1:00 p.m. in the PAYMENTS Innovation Hub. All conference attendees are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 

Prize winners will be announced (in San Diego, California) during the 2018 NACHA Payments Awards Luncheon.

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