NACHA Hails Results of Federal Reserve Research on Checks and Electronic Payments

The results of new research by the Federal Reserve show that electronic payments are much more important to the nation’s economy than previously thought. The Fed’s study on retail payments shows that electronic payments have increased to 40 percent of all non-cash payments, a far higher percentage than existing industry estimates. The last time that a study of this magnitude was conducted on retail payments was in 1979. Since then, the Federal Reserve and the banking industry have relied upon estimates of check volume that have increasingly overstated the actual number of checks. The new study reports that 49.1 billion checks are written in the U.S. every year, far lower than the figure of 68-70 billion that has been generally accepted in the banking industry. Electronic payment volume has increased to 29.5 billion payments annually, up from 5 billion reported in the 1979 study.


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