According to statistics compiled by Nacha, the US electronic payments association, almost 16 million automated clearing house payments were made in 2006, representing a 14.5% increase over the previous year.
Automated clearing house (ACH) payments include direct deposit of payroll, social security benefits and tax refunds, direct payment of consumer bills, bill payments by internet and telephone, check conversion, business-to-business payments, and federal tax withholdings.
US financial institutions originated 15.4% more ACH payments in 2006 than in 2005, which saw the number of payments jump more than two billion to 14.98 billion. Meanwhile, inter-bank ACH payments increased by 16.5% in 2006 and on-us payments, those that remain within a single financial institution, rose by 12.2%.
The remaining ACH payments were originated by the federal government, which exceeded one billion ACH payments in a year for the first time. The federal government’s ACH volume was up 2.8% over 2005.
Annual ACH payment volume continues to double every five years, and growth is occurring across all transaction categories, said Elliott McEntee, president and CEO of Nacha. The growth of the ACH network shows the value that financial institutions and their customers experience from ACH payments.