May 2010

Key Messages:

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Implementation of check image exchange for check collections is almost completed across the industry and the implementation of check image exchange for returns is rapidly approaching full implementation and stabilization of volume growth has begun.

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Institutions are receiving electronic delivery of their unpaid image returns.   On an average day in May 2010, over 209,000 items were received as unpaid image returns.  When the May volume is annualized, it totals 52 million for $56 billion.  The average unpaid image return was $1,072.

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More than 22,800 routing transit numbers are available to receive check images and over 8,000 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 by 83% as of May 2010 to 52.5 million.

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On an average day during May 2010, over 59 million check images were received for posting.  When the May volume is annualized, it totals 14.9 billion for $17.1 trillion.  Also, another 2.6 million checks per day were sent as images and delivered to paying institutions as substitute checks.  These totaled 661 million checks per year and $727 billion.

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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.  When the same payments were cleared through two or more of these organizations, those payments were counted only once.

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