A billion US ACH payments added in 2002 - Nacha

A billion US ACH payments added in 2002 - Nacha

US commercial financial institutions originated almost another billion Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments in 2002, with the number of e-cheques tripling and financial EDI payments up 27%, according to statistics released by e-payments association, Nacha, at its Payments 2003 conference.

Nacha says the number of ACH payments originated by US financial firms increased to 8.05 billion in 2002, up 13.6% from 2001, and valued at $21.7 trillion. Including payments originated by the Federal government, there were a total of 8.94 billion ACH payments in the year, worth more than $24.4 trillion.

Direct deposits - which are used for payroll, pension and interest payments amongst others - increased by 4.8 per cent to 3.9 billion in 2002 and had a value of $4.6 trillion, an average of $1,162 per deposit. In the commercial sector, the average direct deposit was for $1257, up 5.3 per cent.

Direct payments - pre authorised debits - totalled 2.8 billion last year, a 10 per cent increase over 2001. The value of direct payments was $2 trillion, an average of $724.

The figures also show that the use e-cheques nearly tripled in 2002 compared with the previous year, with more 490 million e-check payments made.

There were 233 million e-cheques initiated via the Internet last year, up 213% over 2001, with the average dollar amount of $246. The number of e-cheques at the point-of-sale was 167 million, up 89%, with an average amount of $70. Over the telephone, there were 68 million e-cheque payments, up 680%, at an average of $351 per cheque.

More than 24 million cheques sent to remittance locations were converted to e-cheques, the first year this application was available. The average dollar amount for each e-cheque was $196.

Overall, the new ACH products that have become available since 2000 accounted for 5.5% of all ACH payments in 2002.

Financial electronic data interchange (EDI) on the ACH Network grew by 27% in 2002 and more than 526 million EDI-formatted remittance records were exchanged over the ACH Network. The volume of EDI-formatted remittance records has nearly quadrupled since 1997.

The number of financial EDI payments was 163 million last year, up 14.2% over 2001, and nearly double the amount in 1998.

The total number of B2B payments over the ACH Network grew by 12.4% in the year to 1.6 billion. These payments include transactions among trading partners, intra-company cash management transfers, government vendor payments and business-to-government tax withholdings. The dollar value of these payments was $18.4 trillion, an average of $11,481 a time.

Leonard Heckwolf, chairman of Nacha and senior vice president, Bank One Consumer Payments Solutions, says the movement toward electronic payments in the US is now a reality.

"As consumers and companies continue to transition from paper cheques to electronic payments, and as cheque conversion applications become widespread, the ACH Network and those that provide ACH services are poised for sustained growth," adds Heckwolf.

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