<p>DALLAS – Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments grew by more than one billion payments, or 16.2%, in 2001. The statistics were released at NACHA’s recent PAYMENTS 2002 conference. There were 7.99 billion ACH payments in 2001, valued at $22.2 trillion, a 9.2% increase over last year. ACH payments include direct deposit, Social Security benefits and tax refunds, direct payment of consumer bills, business-to-business payments, federal tax payments, and a growing number of e-check and e-commerce payments. Interestingly, commercial ACH payments increased faster than many areas, up by 17.4%, from 6.03 billion in 2000 to 7.08 billion in 2001. Inter-bank ACH payments increased by 17.6%, from 4.36 billion to 5.13 billion. “On-Us” transactions – payments that remain within a single financial institution – grew by 16.9%, from 1.67 billion in 2000 to 1.96 billion in 2001. Here are some other key ACH transaction statistics: The Federal government’s ACH volume increased by 7.4% to 910 million payments. Direct deposits increased by 11.6% over 2000, from 3.3 billion to 3.7 billion payments. Direct payments in 2001 totaled 2.6 billion, a 17.6% increase over 2000. (A direct payment is a pre-authorized debit that uses the ACH Network.) The value of these payments was $1.6 trillion, an average of $631. More than 200 million e-check payments were made in 2001. (An e-check is an electronic debit to a consumer’s checking account that is initiated at the point-of-sale, on the Internet, over the telephone, or via a bill remittance sent through the mail, and is processed using the ACH Network.) In 2001 there were 88.7 million e-checks originated at the point-of-sale, 74.6 million originated on the Internet, and 8.7 million originated via the telephone. There may be more growth on the horizon. According to a report by NACHA’s Next Generation ACH Task Force, ACH payment volume will double by 2006. The task force is made up of a number of financial professionals from the financial services industry, including Dennis Toda, Vice President, Operational Integrity for WesCorp.</p>

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