Federal Reserve Releases 2010 Payments Study

Noncash payments in the United States rose at a compounded annual rate of 4.6 percent since 2006, according to the Federal Reserve System.

The organization this month published its fourth report in a series of triennial examinations regarding trends in noncash payments in the United States. Here are some of the highlights of the Fed’s findings:

– The estimated number of noncash payments totaled 108.9 billion in 2009, with a value of $72.3 trillion.

– Over three-quarters of all noncash payments are now made electronically, and nearly all interbank checks are now cleared electronically.

– The transition rate from paper to electronic payment methods is rapidly rising due to the presence of debit and prepaid cards, as well as online bill payment.

– Debit card usage is maintaining double-digit growth annually. Though the study did not examine cash usage, one likely explanation for this trend is that debit cards may be replacing cash payments.