ORLANDO, Fla. – The number of Automated Clearing House Payments originated by commercial financial institutions in 2002 increased by 13.6% from the previous year, demonstrating, says NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association, the growth of electronic payments in the U.S. NACHA released the data at its Payments 2003 Conference here. ACH payments include direct deposit of payroll, Social Security benefits and tax returns, direct payment of consumer bills, business-to-business payments, Federal tax payments, and increasingly e-check payments. According to NACHA, the number of ACH payments originated by financials increased to 8.05 billion in 2002, The payments were valued at $21.7 trillion Including payments originated by the Federal government, there were a total of 8.94 billion ACH payments in 2002 worth more than $24.4 trillion. The number of direct deposits in 2002 increased by 4.8% to 3.9 billion payments valued at $4.6 trillion, or an average of $1,162 per direct deposit. The number of direct payments in 2002 totaled 2.8 billion, a 10% increase over 2001. The value of these payments was $2.0 trillion, an average of $724. In addition, the number of E-checks nearly tripled in 2002, according to NACHA. More than 490 million e-checks were made last year, nearly three times the number made in 2001. In 2002, there were 233 million e-checks initiated via the Internet, up 213% from 2001. The average dollar amount of a Web e-check was $246. The number of e-checks at the point-of-sale was 167 million, up 809%, at an average dollar amount of $70. Over the telephone, there were 68 million e-check payments, up 680% for an average amount of $351. Additionally, more than 24 million checks sent to remittance locations were converted to e-checks in 2002. Last year was the first time this service was available. The average dollar amount was $196. Combined, the new ACH products that have become available since 2000 accounted for 5.5% of all ACH payments in 2002. Rounding out the ACH growth figures, financial electronic data interchange (EDI) on the ACH Network increased by 27% in 2002. Last year, more than 526 million EDI-formatted remittance records were exchanged over the ACH Network. The number of financial EDI payments in 2002 was 163 million, up 14.2% from 2001. Financial EDI payments over the ACH Network have nearly doubled since 1998, says NACHA.

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