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ACH payment volume exceeds 21 billion in 2012

Total ACH payment volume grew to over 21 billion transactions[1] in 2012, up 4.19 percent over 2011, according to new statistics released today 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%.

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 PaymentsNative electronic payments –  those payments which start as an electronic payment (i.e., non-check conversion applications) – increased 6.38% over 2011. These payments now make up 85% of total ACH Network volume. Conversely, check initiated transactions decreased by 6.75%.


"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 PaymentsIn 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% 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% 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%. 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% 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 ACHWEB 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% and made up 17.6% 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 IndicatorsOverall ACH Network return rates experienced a decrease in 2012, from 0.98 percent to 0.97%. The unauthorized debit rate decreased to 0.0298% 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 ReceiversConcurrent 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% of ACH Network originated volume. The Top 50 RDFIs received 10.0 billion ACH transactions, accounting for 55.6% of ACH Network received volume.

For more information on ACH Network volume and Top 50 Originators and Receivers, visit

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