The Federal Reserve released results from a major study of US payments. As one would expect, the study confirms that electronic payments are increasing, Paper checks are decreasing as more checks are being converted to electronic transactions.
Over 75% of non-cash payments were performed electronically in 2009, an increase of about 66% from 2006. Electronic payments of all types increased 9.3% per year, to 84.5 billion in 2009.
Debit cards continue to be the most popular form for electronic payments and accounted for 35% of non-cash payments in 2009. Debit cards usage grew by 14.8% annually over the past 3 years, from 25 billion in 2006 to 37.9 billion in 2009. ACH made up 18% of payments and credit cards were at 20%.
Paper checks accounted for 22% of all payments. Paper checks written and paid as checks ( not converted to electronic transactions), fell to 24.4 billion in 2009 from 30.5 billion in 2006. The report estimates that 96% of checks paid are now cleared electronically, primary due to Check 21 image exchange, an increase of 43% in the last 3 years.
Prepaid cards are another fast growing payment segment. Prepaid card transactions were 6 billion in 2009, almost double the 3.3 billion transactions reported in 2006. General-purpose prepaid cards, transactions increased from 300 million in 2006 to 1.3 billion in 2009 and accounted for 22% of all prepaid volume.
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