NACHA Challenge FAQs

NACHA Challenge FAQs

Q: What is the NACHA Challenge?

A: The NACHA Challenge is a new initiative brought to you by NACHA and the Payments Innovation Alliance. Its purpose is to encourage innovation in new ways. This year, solutions must focus on the enablement of ACH usage for consumer and/or corporate payments without users having to supply their bank routing number or account number.


Q: How do I participate?

A: Form a team of up to eight people and submit a proposal to by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2019. Teams can be comprised of both people inside or outside of your organization.


Q: What are we competing for?

A: The top finalist teams will present their solution proposal to a panel of judges at PAYMENTS 2019 in the PAYMENTS Innovation Hub for a $15,000 Judges’ Choice cash prize and $10,000 Audience Choice cash prize. Both prizes will be awarded and paid to individuals, not organizations, and apportioned equally between registered team members.

*All appropriate tax withholding and reporting requirements apply.


Q: Is it possible to win both prizes?

A: Yes. The Judges’ Choice and the Audience Choice prizes are made separate from one another, so it is possible that the audience may pick the same winner as the panel of judges did.


Q: When is my team expected to work on this proposal?

A: It will be necessary for teams to work on proposals on their own time.


Q: Is there a cost to participate?

A: No, there is no cost to participate in the NACHA Challenge. However, if you wish to be a part of the presentation, you must be registered as a conference attendee. PAYMENTS 2019 registration information is available here.


Q: How do we submit our proposal?

A: One team member (who will become the team's main point of contact for NACHA) must submit all required information via email to or via the web form.


Q: What must our submission include?

A: Below are required elements of your submission. 

  • Team Name
  • Individual team members’ names and contact information for each (maximum of eight); indicating the person who will serve as the team lead representative
  • Statement of the solution to be addressed and description of how it impacts the use of ACH
  • Description of the solution or approach that outlines the business, technology and other requirements, operational aspects, process and flow as appropriate
  • Description of how it will solve/solves a problem, who benefits from the proposed approach or solution and how
  • 250-word abstract summarizing the required information outlined above
  • Optional Materials: Teams are encouraged to accompany their submissions with creative supporting materials that explain their approach or solution, or support elements of their proposal as appropriate. Media may include, but are not limited to video, collateral pieces, PowerPoint, an executive summary, podcast, or any items in any format that can be submitted electronically.
  • All required and optional materials should be sent to, The team name must be included in the subject line.

Q: Who does the information in the proposal belong to?

A: 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.


Q: When will teams find out if they are a finalist team?

A: Selection of the finalist teams will occur between March 18-29, 2019, by a panel of judges. Members of teams that are selected for the finalist competition shall be notified by NACHA by April 5, 2019.


Q: Do all team members need to be present at PAYMENTS 2018 to be eligible to win?

A: No, but teams must have at least one representative present in Orlando to present  on May 5, 2019. Judging will occur between 12-12:50 p.m. local time. Audience voting will occur after the presentations and winners of the Judges' Choice and Audience Choice prizes will be announced at the end of the 2019 NACHA Payments Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, May 6.


Q: Who do we contact if we have questions?

A: For submission assistance, contact NACHA staff via email at or by phone at 703-561-1100. 


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