January 2013

Key Messages:

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This CheckImage Collaborative image clearing report reflects transactions settled through the Federal Reserve, Viewpointe, The Clearing House and local / regional exchanges.  Effective January 2011, we are able to include direct exchanges between banks as well as some on-us image volumes.

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Implementation of check image exchange for check collections is virtually complete.  As a result, the volume of check images received at the paying bank will mirror the overall check volumes which have been in decline.  The rate of check volume decline indicated by this data is an annual average of 3.0% between February 2011 and January 2013.

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On an average day in January 2013, over 262,000 items were received as unpaid image returns.  This represents a return rate of only 0.4% and return volume in January is normally above average.

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More than 24,600 routing transit numbers are available to receive check images and over 13,300 are available to receive returns.

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The monthly volume of substitute checks peaked in the month of October 2007 and then declined more than 99% as of January to 0.2 million.

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On an average day during January 2013, over 63 million check images were received for posting. When the January volume is annualized, it totals 15.8 billion for $23.5 trillion.  Also, another 11 thousand checks per day were sent as images and delivered to paying institutions as substitute checks.  The annualized volume of substitute checks received in January 2013 totaled only 2.9 million checks for $4.2 billion.

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