Financial institutions performed almost 6.9 billion automated clearing house (ACH) payments in the United States during 2000, a 12.4% increase over the 6.1 billion transactions generated in 1999, according to a report recently released by NACHA, The Electronic Payments Association.
In addition to the increase in the number of payments, the dollar amount of the transactions grew 6.5%, from $19 trillion in 1999 to $20.3 trillion in 2000, according to the report.
"In 2000, the ACH network continued the robust growth that occurred every year during the 1990s," said Janet C. Boyst, chair of NACHA's Board of Directors and senior vice president and group executive for Wachovia Bank. "Annual commercial ACH volume is 580% higher than 10 years ago."
ACH transactions are comprised of direct deposit of payroll; social security benefits and tax refunds; direct payments of mortgages, car loans, insurance, utility and other bills; business-to-business (B2B) payments; federal tax payments; electronic checks and e-commerce payments. Banks and other commercial institutions, which accounted for almost 6.1 billion payments in 2000, generated the lion's share of ACH activity. The U.S. government was the other primary user of ACH, totaling over 800,000 payments in 2000.
"As established ACH products such as direct deposit and direct payment grow, ACH providers are offering new products for retail payments, bill and invoice payments, e-commerce payments and international payments,' Boyst said. "As new methods of conducting commerce evolve, the ACH network is well-positioned to continue to serve the needs of businesses, individuals and government to move money."
The list of largest ACH payment originators in 2000 was headed by J.P. Morgan Chase, which accounted for 552 million in debit and credit transactions. Bank One Corp. was a distant second, with a total of 484 million transactions. Rounding out the list of top 10 ACH payment originators were Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America, First Union Corp., Keycorp, Wachovia Corp., FleetBoston Financial Corp., Northern Trust Corp and PNC Financial Services Group.