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Fed 75 of noncash payments are made electronically
WASHINGTON (12/9/10)—More than 75% of all U.S. noncash payments made during 2009 were made electronically, a 9.3% increase over 2006’s numbers, the Federal Reserve revealed in a study released on Wednesday. The study found that Americans made nearly 38 billion debit card transactions during 2009, a 12.8 billion payment increase over 2006’s numbers, and the largest increase by any payment type during the survey period.
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“Debit card usage now exceeds all other forms of noncash payments and, by number of payments, represents approximately 35 % of total noncash payments,” the survey said. The number of debit card transactions eclipsed the number of check transactions. The Fed reported a 14.8% increase in the number of debit transactions and a 7.2% decrease in checks paid between 2006 and 2009. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s Richard Oliver said that the results of the study “clearly underscore this nation's efforts to move toward a more efficient electronic clearing system for all types of retail payments," and may also “reflect changing consumer behavior during difficult economic times." Credit unions paid 8.6% of all checks cashed nationwide during 2009, and those checks represented 2.3% of the total value of all checks cashed during that time period. The total number of checks paid by credit unions decreased by just over 8% in between 2006 and 2009, but the average value of those checks increased slightly from $326 in 2006 to $352 in 2009, the study found. The total number of checks paid by credit unions dipped to 2.1 billion in 2009, down from the total of 2.7 billion reported in 2006, the study added. The study noted that credit unions had higher numbers of debit card-carrying members, due to their emphasis on consumer service when compared to commercial banks. All types of electronic payments, barring credit cards, increased between 2006 and 2009, according to the study. For the full study, use the resource link.
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