June 2009

Key Messages:

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More than 19,100 paying institution routing transit numbers are receiving images for payment instead of paper checks.  These represent over 14,100 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 June 2009, 14,173 institutions received over 52 million check images for posting. When the June volume is annualized, it totals 13.1 billion for $17.8 trillion. Also, another 7.2 million checks per day that were sent as images and delivered to paying institutions as substitute checks.  These totaled 1.8 billion checks per year and $2.1 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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The 2007 Federal Reserve’s Payments Study shows that the volume of checks (both written and paid) continue to be larger than debit card, credit card or ACH transactions.  The report also shows that the dollar amount of checks increased from 2003 to 2006 from $40 to $41.7 trillion.

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