The benefits, however, are expected to be well worth the wait.
"Before the ACH, you and your employer had to bank at the same bank or your employer had to maintain accounts at various banks if that employer wanted to pay you by direct deposit," Smith said in a statement sent to Guardian Business. "Within three months of the ACH going into effect, banks will be to accommodate interbank transfers as easily as they do intra-bank transfers now, meaning direct deposits may be made to any account in the system, even if the employer and employee bank at different institutions."
The same principle, he said, will apply to any bill you want to pay.
"You do not have to go to the paint store or the doctor's office to pay a bill or call your plumber back to collect a check," added Smith. "You can have it deposited right into their account while you are sitting at home on your laptop handling your online banking watching the Heat play the Lakers."
Converting to electronic clearance also improves security, eliminating the need for checks to be physically transported between banks with messengers carrying such deposits in satchels. All seven clearing banks are participating in the system that allows confidential same day settlement or clearance of direct credit and next business day clearance of Bahamian dollar checks and debits. Those banks include Bank of The Bahamas Limited, Citibank, N.A., Commonwealth Bank, Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) Ltd., FirstCaribbean International Bank (Bahamas), RBC Royal Bank of Canada and Scotiabank. Regulatory oversight is provided by The Central Bank.