Payment Methods

Fed Data: Non-Cash Payments Grow 6.7 Pct Per Year From 2015-2018

Fed Data: Non-Cash Payments Grew From 2015-2018

With the ongoing decline of checks, the growth of payments by debit and credit cards continued to speed up from 2015 to 2018, per Federal Reserve U.S. non-cash payments data. The 2019 Federal Reserve Payments Study found that the core non-cash payments growth rate arrived at 6.7 percent per year between 2015 and 2018.

Total card payments increased to 131.2 billion with a $7.08 trillion value last year, up 29.7 billion and $1.56 trillion since 2015. Card payments climbed at the faster rate of 8.6 percent per year by value and 8.9 percent per year by number from 2015 to 2018, compared to 5.9 percent per year by value and 6.8 percent per year by number from 2012 to 2015.

Last year, card payments comprised 75.3 percent of all non-cash payments by number, but just 7.3 percent by value. Those figures marked a rise of 70.7 percent by number and 6.4 percent by value in 2015.

And, from 2015 to 2018, the number of remote general-purpose card payments increased 20.5 percent per year. That figure was much higher than the in-person general-purpose card payments growth rate over the same period, which was 5.8 percent per year. Even so, the number of in-person card payments still kept coming out ahead of the number of remote card payments by a large margin between 2015 to 2018.

The number of in-person card payments last year was 86.1 billion, which was up 13.4 billion from 2015. By contrast, there were 33.5 billion remote card payments last year, which was up 14.3 billion from 2015.

Also, in 2018, total automated clearing house (ACH) payments were estimated to have arrived at 28.5 billion with a $64.16 trillion value, marking a rise of 4.6 billion and $12.08 trillion since 2015. ACH payments in totality increased at a faster rate of 7.2 percent per year by value and 6 percent per year by number from 2015 to 2018, compared to 4.1 percent by value and 4.9 percent by number from 2012 to 2015.

And ACH payments made up 66.1 percent of the value of all non-cash payments last year, which was up from 60 percent in 2015. ACH payments, by number, were 16.4 percent of all non-cash payments last year, which was lower by 16.7 percent in 2015.

Additionally, check payments fell to 14.5 billion with a $25.80 trillion value last year, which marked a decrease of 3.6 billion and $3.39 trillion from 2015. Check payments declined 7.2 percent per year by number and 4 percent per year by value from 2015 to 2018.

The number of ATM cash withdrawals fell to 5.1 billion in 2018, which marked a slight decline of 0.1 billion since 2015. Value, however, grew to $0.80 trillion, a rise of $0.03 trillion from 2015. The average value of cash withdrawals last year was $156, however, which marked an increase from $146 in 2015.

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The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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