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A Billion ACH Payments Added in 2002, NACHA Announces

E-Checks Triple; Financial EDI Up 27 Percent
Orlando, Florida, April 28, 2003- The nation's commercial financial institutions originated almost another billion Automated Clearing House (ACH) payments in 2002, according to statistics released today by NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association at its PAYMENTS 2003 conference.

"The movement toward electronic payments in the U.S. is now a reality," said Leonard J. Heckwolf, Chairman of NACHA and Senior Vice President of Bank One's Consumer Payments Solutions. "As consumers and companies continue to transition from paper checks to electronic payments, and as check conversion applications become widespread, the ACH Network and those that provide ACH services are poised for sustained growth."

The number of ACH payments originated by financial institutions increased to 8.05 billion in 2002, up 13.6 percent from 2001. These 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.

ACH payments include Direct Deposit of payroll, Social Security benefits and tax refunds, Direct Payment of consumer bills, business-to-business payments, Federal tax payments, and, increasingly, e-check payments.

Direct Deposit and Direct Payment
The number of Direct Deposits in 2002 increased by 4.8 percent to 3.9 billion payments. Direct Deposit is used for payroll, expense and travel reimbursement, pension and annuity payments, interest payments, retirement and mutual fund distributions, Social Security, Veterans and other government benefits, and tax refunds. The value of these Direct Deposits was $4.6 trillion, an average of $1,162 per Direct Deposit. In the commercial sector, the average Direct Deposit was for $1,257, up 5.3 percent.

The number of Direct Payments in 2002 totaled 2.8 billion, a 10.0 percent increase over 2001. A Direct Payment is a pre-authorized debit that uses the ACH Network, and is typically used for recurring consumer bills such as mortgages, loans, utilities, investments and charitable contributions. The value of these payments was $2.0 trillion, an average of $724.

E-Checks Nearly Triple in 2002
More than 490 million e-check payments were made in 2002, nearly tripling the number 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 2002 there were 233 million e-checks initiated via the Internet, up 213 percent over 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 89 percent. The average dollar amount of a POS e-check was $70.

Over the telephone, there were 68 million e-check payments, up 680 percent. The average dollar amount was $351.

More than 24 million checks sent to remittance locations were converted to e-checks in 2002, the first year this application was available. The average dollar amount was $196.

Combined, the new ACH products that have become available since 2000 accounted for 5.5 percent of all ACH payments in 2002.

Financial EDI Up 27 Percent
Financial electronic data interchange (EDI) on the ACH Network grew by 27 percent in 2002. In 2002, more than 526 million EDI-formatted remittance records were exchanged over the ACH Network. The volume of EDI-formatted remittance records has nearly quadrupled since 1997.

Financial EDI is the electronic exchange of payments, payment-related information or financial-related documents in standard formats between business partners. With financial EDI, the remittance information accompanies the payment; that is, the money and the data stay together.

The number of financial EDI payments was 163 million in 2002, up 14.2 percent over 2001. Financial EDI payments over the ACH Network have nearly doubled since 1998.

The total number of business-to-business payments over the ACH Network grew by 12.4 percent in 2002 to 1.6 billion. These payments include transactions among trading partners, intra-company cash management transfers, government vendor payments, as well as business-to-government tax withholdings. The dollar value of these payments was $18.4 trillion, an average of $11,481 per payment.

About NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association
NACHA is the leading organization in developing electronic solutions to improve the payments system. NACHA represents more than 12,000 financial institutions through direct memberships and a network of regional payments associations, and 650 organizations through its industry councils. NACHA develops operating rules and business practices for the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network and for electronic payments in the areas of Internet commerce, electronic bill and invoice presentment and payment (EBPP, EIPP), e-checks, financial electronic data interchange (EDI), international payments, and electronic benefits transfer (EBT). Visit NACHA on the Internet at www.nacha.org.

First published on BankersOnline.com 5/12/03

First published on 05/12/2003

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