October 29, 2020

Federal Reserve Board publishes detailed noncash payments data from the 2019 Federal Reserve Payments Study

For release at 12:00 p.m. EDT

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday published detailed noncash payments data from the 2019 Federal Reserve Payments Study (FRPS). The additional data, estimated from surveys covering 2012 through 2018, supplement the noncash payments overview provided by the top-line data released in December 2019.

The FRPS Detailed Data Release includes new information about core noncash payments and some evolving areas of payments in the United States:

  • The estimated number and value of checks for 2018 are revised to 14.0 billion and $26.8 trillion, respectively. As a result, the estimated decline in the number of checks from 2015 to 2018 is revised to 8.2 percent per year, steeper than the previously reported 7.2 percent per year decline. The estimated decline in the value of checks is revised to 2.8 percent per year, less steep than the previously reported 4.0 percent per year decline.
  • Use of alternative payment methods and services continues to grow. For example, according to estimates from processors, the number of payments via person-to-person and money transfer services more than doubled from 2015 to 2018.
  • Wire transfers originated by consumers grew at double-digit rates by both number and value from 2012 through 2018.

The FRPS Detailed Data Release includes data from the Networks, Processors, and Issuers Payments Surveys (NPIPS) and the Depository and Financial Institution Payments Survey (DFIPS). NPIPS is a collection of surveys, each conducted as a census of the applicable organizations, including card networks and processors and issuers of core and alternative payment methods and services. DFIPS is a survey of a representative sample of insured depository institutions of different sizes and types that process payments.

The Federal Reserve Payments Study is an ongoing effort to document aggregate changes in the payments system. The study has estimated national volumes across all noncash payment types every three years since 2000, with supplements providing national estimates for card payments and partial information on other payments for 2016 and 2017. NPIPS was conducted with the assistance of Blueflame Consulting. DFIPS was conducted with the assistance of GCI Analytics, a division of McKinsey and Company.

To access the detailed data in this release and to obtain further information on the FRPS please visit: https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/fr-payments-study.htm

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Last Update: October 29, 2020