Recently, the Federal Reserve released its Payments Study which covers noncash payments made in 2012 by ACH, check, credit, debit, and prepaid cards. The report shows that overall, the number of transactions is still growing, payments have become increasingly card-based and although checks continue to decline, the check clearing process continues to gain efficiencies through electronification. In 2012, 18.3 billion checks were paid, down from 24.5 billion in 2009 when the Fed issued its last report.
- There were 122.8 billion noncash payments, reflecting a 4.4% annual growth since 2009.
- Credit, debit and prepaid cards account for 66% of payments, ACH for 18% and checks for 15%.
- Virtually 100% of checks were cleared electronically either by image exchange or ACH.
- Account holders deposited 1 in 6 checks as an electronic image rather than paper.
- Of those checks deposited as images, 93% were by businesses, 7% by consumers.
- Card-based payments grew 28%, ACH grew 16% while checks declined 25%.