Night Cycle

DEFINITION of 'Night Cycle'

An option created in 1979 to process Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers (debits and credits) at night, generally between 10:00 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST). The ACH is a nationwide system for transferring money electronically.

Also referred to as the "nighttime window."


Corporations use night-cycle processing to move funds into concentration accounts, which are centralized deposit accounts used by institutions to aggregate funds and process and settle internal bank transactions. It stands in contrast to the day cycle, which allows processing of ACH transfers between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. EST.