WASHINGTON (1/21/10)--The Federal Reserve (Fed) on Wednesday announced that it will undertake further study of “the current volume and composition of check and electronic payments in the United States.” The Fed study, which will collect information on the “annual number, dollar value and composition of retail noncash payments in the United States,” is similar to studies completed by the Fed in 2001, 2004 and 2007. “The Credit Union National Association’s Payments Subcommittee plans to follow the development of these studies closely, interact with those undertaking the work, and provide information to the Fed as it pursues these studies,” CUNA Deputy Counsel Mary Dunn said. The 2010 study, when combined with the results of these earlier studies, “will provide aggregate estimates and current trends in the use of noncash payment instruments by U.S. consumers and businesses,” the Fed said. “Previous studies have revealed significant changes in the U.S. payments system over time, including a continuing decline in the use of checks and growing use of electronic payments, such as automated clearinghouse, electronic banking transactions, credit cards, debit cards and stored value cards,” the release added. Early results of the studies should be released later this year.