CheckScanRDC Consulting About Us

October 2002
Fewer Checks to Be Written and Even Fewer to Be Posted

The recent Federal Reserve Studies showed there were actually fewer checks processed in 2000 than many people had generally thought. There were 49.6 billion in 2000 up from 32 billion in 1979. While in the 21 year period the absolute number went up, checks share of non-cash payments declined from 85% to 60%. The average amount went up from $757 to $952 or up less than the rate of inflation suggesting business and higher value consumer checks shifting payment mechanisms.

Nilson projects 50.9 billion checks in 2001 with a decline to 34.6 by 2020. Nilson also predicts a 20-30% decline in check and cash payments. In the next 3-5 years total check volume will likely be stagnant, with the number of items per account originating as a check declining and the checks role in the payment system further eroding on a percentage basis.

In the 3-5 year period, the number of items originating as checks will decline and the percentage that arrive for posting as traditional paper checks is also likely to decline. There are still many checks that can be converted. The Federal Reserve Study showed in 2000 that 28% of consumer checks were for POS and another 13% were Remittance/POS (suggesting some reporting ambiguity). Point of Purchase (POP) truncation/conversion is likely to increase from 89 million items in 2000 to 2-3 billion within 5 years.

Regulations finalized this year for Accounts Receivable Check (ARC) conversion to ACH of consumer originated items will open up the 34% of consumer checks that are for Remittances plus a portion of the Remittance/POS category. There are significant incentives for businesses to pressure their lockboxes to offer this service as long as there is no consumer backlash. Consumers will be advised their check will be converted, probably on their bill and will see it on their statements as an ACH item with merchant name and check number as well as amount shown. If ARC is widely accepted as we believe it will be, in 5 years easily half of remittance checks could be arriving as ACH items; reducing processing and postage costs, for banks whether they today return checks or check images.


March 2011
Small and Home Busines Check Deposit Practices 2010-11 Survey Results

October 2007
Small Business RDC Survey Results


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Fewer Checks to Be Written and Even Fewer to Be Posted

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