Enabling early direct deposits

What is Early Direct Deposit?

Traditional direct deposit means that, when an employer deposits a paycheck, the deposit is posted to the customer account on the effective date. Early Direct Deposit gives customers who receive their paycheck through direct deposit access to their funds up to 2 days earlier than traditional direct deposit. Cross River settles funds upon receipt of the ACH file from the Federal Reserve rather than waiting to release them on the effective date.

By providing Early Direct Deposit, you benefit your customers by improving their cash flows, which could enable them to avoid overdrafts, pay down debt, and generally experience less financial stress.

By meeting customer preferences for quicker access to funds, you may encourage more engagement with your services. Earlier settlement of funds may also support greater debit card usage, potentially generating increased interchange revenue.

What do your customers need to participate in Early Direct Deposit?

Ensure that your customers:

  • Understand the requirements and limitations
  • Have checking or savings accounts set up with Cross River.
  • Are enrolled for direct deposit with their employers. Once Early Direct Deposit is enabled, 1 to 2 pay cycles are usually necessary before Early Direct Deposit takes effect.

What is a typical flow for Early Direct Deposit?

  1. Your customer's employer instructs their bank or payroll agency to initiate payroll payment.
  2. The employer’s bank sends an ACH file to the Federal Reserve.
  3. The Federal Reserve sends the ACH file to Cross River.
  4. Cross River settles funds to customer’s account on the same day the ACH file is received (up to 2 days before the effective date). A memo post* is added to the available balance. On the effective date, the memo post is replaced seamlessly by a full a transfer.
  5. The customer can access funds upon settlement.

*Memo posts are generally used with debit cards, meaning the available balance drops. In this case, the available balance increases.

How is Early Direct Deposit enabled?

Reach out to your Partnership Manager. Once you sign a contract addendum, COS Ops enables Early Direct Deposit for your customers.


Be aware of the following limitations:

  • Early Direct Deposit is not guaranteed and depends on timely transfer of ACH files.
  • The customer's employer must initiate the payroll payment on time, and the employer’s bank or payroll agency must ensure delivery of ACH files to the Federal Reserve before the effective date.

Testing Early Direct Deposit in the sandbox

Once early DD is enabled for you in the sandbox you can call the simulate API to generate an ACH that will match the EDD requirements.
Use the POST /v1/payments/simulated-inbound-originations endpoint with these values for the following attributes:

  • serviceType = Standard
  • secCode = PPD
  • description = DIRECT DEP