In 2013, ACH volume grew to almost 22 billion electronic payments, an increase of 4% over 2012 volume, according to new statistics released by NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association.
A total of $38.7 trillion was transferred over the ACH Network during 2013, increasing
almost 5% compared to 2012, supporting a wide variety of consumer, business and government payments.
“Originally started more than 40 years ago as a system to replace paper checks, the ACH Network has grown into a robust payments system facilitating the adoption and advancement of electronic payments,” said Janet O. Estep, president and CEO of NACHA. “The continued growth and increased use of the Network attests to its ability to continually adapt and evolve to meet the changing needs of the industry.”
Today, native electronic payments — those payments which start as an electronic transaction — make up the most significant portion of ACH transactions. In 2013, native electronic payments increased 7.1%, and now make up almost 90% of ACH Network volume.
Specific categories of native electronic payments that saw significant growth in 2013 include online payments (WEB transactions), business-to-business (B2B) payments (CTX and CCD transactions), consumer-initiated payments (CIE transactions), and recurring payments (PPD transactions), such as Direct Deposit via ACH.
WEB transactions — payments made when authorization is provided via the Internet or a wireless network — grew 11% in 2013. These transactions remain a safe ACH payment type for Network users, with an unauthorized return rate consistent with the Network’s overall debit unauthorized return rate. In 2013, there were 3.3 billion WEB transactions, totaling $1.5 trillion. In the 13 years since its implementation, WEB volume has grown to make up nearly 20% of total ACH Network volume. With the implementation of the WEB credit rule for person-to-person (P2P) payments, which became effective March 21, 2014, WEB transaction growth is likely to continue.
“The NACHA rulemaking process enables us to respond quickly and be supportive of industry needs,” said Estep. “New rules like the P2P via ACH Rule underscore the flexibility of the Network and the value of the rulemaking process in expanding and diversifying offerings to meet the changing needs of Network users.”
In 2013, the volume of B2B transactions increased 6.7% over 2012. Specifically, CTX volume grew 10.6% and CCD volume grew 6.6%. Addenda record use associated with these payments grew as well, increasing almost 10% across both transaction categories.
Some of the CCD growth can be attributed to the healthcare payments via ACH rule, which became effective in September 2013. This rule complements and supports the healthcare electronic funds transfer (EFT) and electronic remittance advice (ERA) standards designated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the healthcare operating rules for EFT and ERA. The rule identifies healthcare EFTs (payments from health plans to healthcare providers) processed through the ACH Network, supporting needs of both the financial services and the healthcare industries. In the last quarter of 2013, there were 20.5 million healthcare EFTs totaling $99.2 billion.
Consumer-initiated entries (CIEs) are credit transactions originated by consumers that are used primarily to pay bills. In 2013, CIEs increased by 4.6%.
“Year over year, we continue to see increases in the CIE transaction category,” said Estep. “The continued growth suggests that consumers value the control and flexibility ACH credit transactions provide.”
Recurring payments, or PPD transactions, which account for almost half of total ACH Network volume, grew by 5.2% in 2013. Direct Deposit via ACH payments, or PPD credits, increased as well, growing 5.4% over 2012 volume.
Network Quality Indicators
The overall Network unauthorized debit return rate decreased to 0.0288%, marking 11 consecutive years of decline. NACHA continues to work with the industry to improve Network quality by identifying opportunities to further support declines in return rates, as the volume of returns continues to rise as the ACH Network itself continues to grow.
Top 50 Originators and Receivers
Concurrent with the release of 2013 ACH payment volume information, NACHA also announced the Top 50 Originating Depository Financial Institutions (ODFIs) and Receiving Depository Financial Institutions (RDFIs) in 2013.
The Top 50 ODFIs originated 15.5 billion ACH transactions, accounting for 95.5% of ACH Network originated volume. The Top 50 RDFIs received 10.6 billion ACH transactions, accounting for 56.1% of ACH Network received volume.
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