Financial Update (April-June 2001)

Masthead

Cover Story

Subprime Lending Guidance

Economics of Checks

Greenspan on Lending

Retail Banking Fees

ATM Fee Disclosure

DEPARTMENTS

Did You Know?

Data Bank

The Docket

Federal Reserve to Conduct Check and Electronic Payment Studies

Picture of Checks
The Federal Reserve is gathering information about the size of the retail payment system as well as trends in substituting electronic payment instruments for paper payments.

The Federal Reserve Banks recently announced that they will conduct three studies on checks and electronic payments to determine the current makeup and use of the nation’s payment system.

The studies are part of the Check and Electronic Payments Research Project, an effort that reinforces the Federal Reserve’s ongoing commitment to work collaboratively with financial services industry representatives to improve the nation’s payment system. The project is gathering information about the size of the retail payment system as well as trends in substituting electronic payment instruments for paper payments.

One aim of the project is to help increase payment system efficiency by improving public knowledge about the number and use of checks in the U.S. payment system and by identifying opportunities for substituting electronic payments for checks. Another aim is to establish the total volume and value of U.S. noncash payments made using instruments such as checks, the automated clearinghouse (ACH), credit cards and debit cards, and emerging payment technologies.

There are three individual studies in the project.

  • The Depository Financial Institution Check Study will gather information on the total volume and value of checks processed.
  • The Check Sample Study will quantify the use of check transactions among consumers-to-business, business-to-business and other broad payor categories.
  • The Electronic Payment Instruments Study will count the number of electronic and card-based payments originated.

The Federal Reserve has enlisted the services of Global Concepts Inc., Westat and Dove Consulting for these studies. A summary of the data will be shared widely with the financial services industry, as well as with the general public. This research will provide industry decision makers and other interested parties with information to support their planning for future payment system infrastructure modifications.

More information on the studies can be found on the Federal Reserve’s Financial Services Web site at www.frbservices.org.