April 11 - Total ACH payment volume grew to over 21 billion transactions in 2012, up 4.19 percent over 2011, according to new statistics released by NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association. A total of $36.9 trillion was transferred over the ACH Network in 2012, an increase of 8.76 percent.
The ongoing growth of the ACH Network is attributed to the continued increase in native electronic payments, the expanding use of ACH credit payments by businesses and consumers, and the rise in online payments via ACH.
Native Electronic Payments
Native electronic payments — those payments which start as an electronic payment (i.e., non-check conversion applications) — increased 6.38 percent over 2011. These payments now make up 85 percent of total ACH Network volume. Conversely, check initiated transactions decreased by 6.75 percent.
“This data clearly shows that consumers and businesses choose electronic payment options over paper checks,” said Janet O. Estep, president and CEO of NACHA. “Direct Deposits and Direct Payments via ACH provide the convenience, control, and flexibility that end users want. As end user needs evolve, the ACH Network will continue to enable the innovation necessary to meet the changing needs of ACH Network participants.”
ACH Credit Payments
In 2012, the ACH Network processed a total of 7.0 billion ACH credit payments, an increase of 5.4 percent over 2011. In contrast, overall ACH debit payment volume grew by 3.3 percent in 2012.
Growing consumer and business use of ACH credit payments has fueled the overall growth in ACH credits. Consumer-initiated entries, or CIE credit payments used primarily to pay bills, grew by 7.6 percent in 2012. Business-to-business (B2B) transaction categories, which enable B2B credit payments and the use of addenda records for remittance purposes, grew by 5.1 percent. Direct Deposits via ACH, another credit payment, also saw significant growth. In 2012, there were a total of 5.1 billion Direct Deposit via ACH transactions, representing a 5.4 percent increase over 2011.
“Consumers and businesses alike are looking for more control over their payments,” said Estep. “ACH credit payments provide the control and security that today’s consumers and businesses are seeking, when compared to checks. The growth in ACH credit payments shows that consumers and businesses are taking advantage of the opportunities and flexibility the ACH Network provides.”
Online Payments via ACH
WEB transactions — or those transactions made when authorization to debit an account is given via the Internet or a wireless network — grew significantly. In 2012, WEB transactions increased 10.2 percent and made up 17.6 percent of total ACH Network volume. With the recent approval of the NACHA Operating Rules amendment on Person-to-Person (P2P) Payments via ACH, which enables a WEB credit for P2P payments, WEB transaction growth is likely to continue.
Network Quality Indicators
Overall ACH Network return rates experienced a decrease in 2012, from 0.98 percent to 0.97 percent. The unauthorized debit rate decreased to 0.0298 percent in 2012 from 0.0300 in 2011, marking 10 consecutive years of decline.
“The continued decrease in ACH return rates attests to the quality of ACH transactions,” said Estep. “It also underscores the value of the NACHA Operating Rules, and the effective risk management processes and oversight the Rules provide.”
Top 50 Originators and Receivers
Concurrent with the 2012 release of ACH payment volume information, NACHA also announced the Top 50 Originating Depository Financial Institutions (ODFIs) and Receiving Depository Financial Institutions (RDFIs) in 2012.
The Top 50 ODFIs originated 14.9 billion ACH transactions, accounting for 96.5 percent of ACH Network originated volume. The Top 50 RDFIs received 10.0 billion ACH transactions, accounting for 55.6 percent of ACH Network received volume.
For more information on ACH Network volume and Top 50 Originators and Receivers, visit http://www.nacha.org/c/ACHntwkstats.cfm.
About NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association
NACHA manages the development, administration, and governance of the ACH Network, the backbone for the electronic movement of money and data. The ACH Network provides a safe, secure, and reliable network for direct account-to-account consumer, business, and government payments. Annually, it facilitates billions of Direct Deposit via ACH and Direct Payment via ACH transactions. Used by all types of financial institutions, the ACH Network is governed by the fair and equitable NACHA Operating Rules, which guide risk management and create payment certainty for all participants. As a not-for-profit association, NACHA represents more than 10,000 financial institutions via 17 regional payments associations and direct membership. Through its industry councils and forums, NACHA brings together payments system stakeholders to foster dialogue and innovation to strengthen the ACH Network. To learn more, please visit http://www.nacha.org, http://www.electronicpayments.org, http://www.payitgreen.org, and http://direct.nacha.org.