Federal Reserve Payments Study

The Federal Reserve Payments Studies (FRPS) originated from a system-wide effort to improve the measurement and public availability of information on volumes and trends in checks and other noncash payments. Noncash payments include transactions by check, ACH, wire transfers, debit card (including prepaid and non-prepaid), and credit card.

The studies have been conducted triennially since 2001 and have covered the total number and value of all noncash payments estimated to have been made by U.S. consumers and businesses, including for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises and federal, state, and local government agencies.

As the noncash payments system has continued to grow larger and more complex and as policymakers, the industry, and the public face more choices related to the payments system, the surveys play a crucial role in objectively maintaining and updating quantitative information on the U.S. retail payments system.


Current Study

2016 Federal Reserve Payments Study

  • The Federal Reserve Payments Study 2016 (HTML | PDF) - A brief report released in December 2016 contains an early look at the use of core payment systems and some new information on types of general-purpose payment card fraud.
  • Table 2. Selected results, 2012 and 2015 (Excel | CSV) – A downloadable spreadsheet version of Table 2 from the brief report.

Additional detailed reports and information will be posted here as the results of further analysis become final.

The 2016 FRPS consists of a suite of surveys:

  • The 2016 Depository and Financial Institutions Payments Survey (DFIPS) collected the number and value of noncash payments, cash withdrawals and deposits that posted to customer accounts, and unauthorized transactions (third-party fraud) that took place during calendar year 2015 from a representative sample of commercial banks, savings institutions, and credit unions.
  • The eighteen different 2016 Networks, Processors, and Issuers Payments Surveys (NPIPS) collected the number and value of electronic payments as well as fraud in the United States for calendar year 2015.
  • The 2016 Check Sample Survey was conducted to estimate the distribution of checks by counterparty and purpose for calendar year 2015. Response data from several large banks that use the Viewpointe archive, and from Federal Reserve processing, were collected.

Aggregate estimates are developed from individual institutional survey response data collected in the surveys, which remains confidential.


For questions or comments, please contact frpaymentsstudy@frb.gov

Reports from Previous Studies

The 2013 Federal Reserve Payments Study
Recent and Long-Term Payment Trends in the United States: 2003-2012

The 2010 Federal Reserve Payments Study
Noncash Payment Trends in the United States: 2006-2009

2007 Federal Reserve Payments Study

Retail Payments Research:

Related Papers

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Last Update: February 16, 2017