September 2009

Key Messages:

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Institutions have begun receiving electronic delivery of their unpaid image returns.  This report now includes the volume and dollar amounts of image returns.  During the first nine months of 2009, the volume of reported image returns grew by 60% from an average of 114,000 per day to 182,200.

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More than 20,500 paying institution routing transit numbers are receiving images for payment instead of paper checks.  These represent over 15,000 financial institutions.

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Substitute Checks have facilitated the transition from paper checks to check images.  The monthly volume of substitute checks peaked in the month of October 2007 and the quarterly volume peaked in the second quarter 2008 with 875 million and then declined by 53% during the third quarter of 2009 to 460 million.

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On an average day during September 2009, 15,270 institutions received over 55 million check images for posting. When the September volume is annualized, it totals 13.9 billion for $16.4 trillion. Also, another 4.9 million checks per day that were sent as images and delivered to paying institutions as substitute checks.  These totaled 1.2 billion checks per year and $1.4 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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