Federal Reserve: Consumers favoring noncash payments other than checks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Writing checks is steadily becoming less popular.

Indeed, consumers in 2015 wrote nearly two-thirds fewer checks per household than in 2000, according to new data released from the 2016 Federal Reserve Payments Study. The number of checks written per household fell to 7.1 per month in 2015 from 19.3 per month a decade and a half earlier.

At the same time, total noncash payments per household – which includes checks, but also card payments and electronic transfers – grew 95 percent.

The trend reflects “fundamental shifts in consumer behavior such as changes in shopping, purchasing and bill-payment habits,” according to the study.

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Businesses are also replacing checks with other noncash payments, as businesses on average wrote 24.1 checks per month in 2015 compared to 66 per month in 2000, representing a 63.5 percent decline.

In 2015, the value of business electronic transfers through the automated clearinghouse system, or ACH, totaled $149.5 trillion, more than doubling the total value of business and consumer ACH transfers and checks written in 2000, according to the study.

The study is the sixth in a series of triennial studies done since 2001. The goal is to estimate aggregate trends in noncash payments throughout the country.

The full study with more details on payment trends can be found HERE.

Eli Sherman is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Sherman@PBN.com, or follow him on Twitter @Eli_Sherman.