August 2009

Key Messages:

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Institutions have begun implementing unpaid image returns.  This report now includes the volume and dollar amounts of image returns.  During the first eight months of 2009, the volume of reported image returns grew by 37% from an average of 114,000 per day to 156,100.

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More than 20,000 paying institution routing transit numbers are receiving images for payment instead of paper checks.  These represent over 14,700 financial institutions.

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Substitute Checks have facilitated the transition from paper checks to check images.  The volume of substitute checks peaked during the second quarter of 2008 with 875 million and then declined by 43% during the second quarter 2009 to 503 million.

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On an average day during August 2009, 14,747 institutions received over 52 million check images for posting. When the August volume is annualized, it totals 13.1 billion for $17 trillion. Also, another 5.3 million checks per day that were sent as images and delivered to paying institutions as substitute checks.  These totaled 1.3 billion checks per year and $1.1 trillion.

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This CheckImage Collaborative image clearing report reflects transactions settled through the Federal Reserve, Viewpointe, SVPCO and local / regional exchanges.  When the same payments were cleared through two or more of these organizations, those payments were counted only once.

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