The modern ACH Network experienced significant growth in 2021, with 29.1 billion payments valued at $72.6 trillion, and Same Day ACH payment volume grew nearly 74%, new figures from Nacha show.
ACH Network payment volume was up 8.7%, or 2.3 billion, over 2020, marking the seventh consecutive year volume grew by at least 1 billion payments. The value of those payments rose 17.4%, or $10.8 trillion, making 2021 the ninth straight year to see a payment value increase of at least $1 trillion.
Among the sectors experiencing tremendous growth in 2021 was business-to-business (B2B). The 5.3 billion B2B payments—valued at $50 trillion—reflect a 20.4% increase from 2020, as the pandemic fast-tracked businesses’ switch to ACH payments. Over just the past two years, ACH B2B payments are up 33.2%.
Medical and dental practices and facilities are increasingly receiving healthcare claim payments electronically. There were 426.3 million such payments made by ACH in 2021, up 17.9% from 2020. Those payments were valued at $2 trillion.
“Throughout 2021, as the accelerated shift from paper to electronic payments continued, the ACH Network proved its resiliency and value to the nation. The figures for the year bear that out,” said Jane Larimer, Nacha President and CEO.
“Working with our partners in government, at financial institutions, and the ACH Operators, the ACH Network last year seamlessly handled 143 million economic impact payments, 182 million Advance Child Tax Credit (ACTC) payments, and hundreds of millions of unemployment benefits, all by Direct Deposit. These payments brought help to Americans at a time when they needed it most,” said Larimer.
Nacha and the ACH community marked the fifth anniversary of Same Day ACH last year with increases in volume and value of 73.9% and 105.1%, respectively, compared to 2020. There were 603.8 million Same Day ACH payments last year, valued at $943.7 billion. Operating hours for Same Day ACH were extended in March 2021, with the ACH Network now settling payments four times a day.
“Our latest Same Day ACH enhancement takes effect March 18, 2022: an increase in the per payment limit to $1 million, making Same Day ACH available for even greater use,” said Larimer. “Same Day ACH is continuing to meet America’s faster payment needs.”
Nacha governs the thriving ACH Network, the payment system that drives safe, smart, and fast Direct Deposits and Direct Payments with the capability to reach all U.S. bank and credit union accounts. More than 29 billion ACH Network payments were made in 2021, valued at close to $73 trillion. Through problem-solving and consensus-building among diverse payment industry stakeholders, Nacha advances innovation and interoperability in the payments system. Nacha develops rules and standards, provides industry solutions, and delivers education, accreditation, and advisory services.