Fed study shows ongoing rise in card payments

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Dec. 20, 2013 – Results of the 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study shows ongoing growth in the use of debit and credit cards for payments as check payments continue to decline.

The 2013 study is expanded from previous ones to provide new information related to various payment initiation methods and unauthorized payments. Results are compared to previous payment studies conducted in 2004, 2007 and 2010.

These studies are conducted every three years. The 2013 study shows that, from 2009 to 2012:

  • There were a total of 122.8 billion noncash payments, excluding wire transfers. That shows an annual growth rate of 4.4 percent (down from the average 4.7 percent growth rate from 2003 to 2012).
  • The total value of noncash payments grew from $72.2 trillion to just under $79 trillion.
  • The number of credit card payments grew at an annual rate of 7.6 percent (these showed a decline in the 2010 study).
  • Debit card payments grew at a rate of 7.7 percent.
  • Automated clearinghouse, or ACH, growth slowed to 5.1 percent annually, down from the average annual growth of 10.9 percent over the previous 10 years.
  • The number of checks paid continued to decline, falling to 18.3 billion, less than half the number a decade earlier (37.3 billion).
  • Checks are increasingly being deposited as images; 17 percent are deposited as an image at the bank of first deposit, up from 13 percent as reported in the 2010 study.

The 2013 study estimates that there were 31.1 million unauthorized payment transactions in 2012, with a value of $6.1 billion.

Related Links:
2013 payments study