July 15, 2020

ACH Network Supports Americans and the Economy During Time of Need; Payment Volume Rose 7.9% in Second Quarter


HERNDON, Va., July 15, 2020 - The reliability and value of the ACH Network to the nation was clear in the second quarter of 2020. ACH payment volume growth of 7.9%, compared to the same period a year ago, reflects the use of the ACH Network to deliver economic assistance to individuals and businesses, as well as an acceleration in the shift from paying by paper check to paying electronically.

There were 6.6 billion payments made on the ACH Network during the quarter, reflecting a 7.9% increase over the same period in 2019. The value of those payments was $14.7 trillion. Direct Deposit payments rose 17%, due in part to federal and state assistance payments made to Americans in need.

“Direct Deposit is the best way to reliably deliver pay and assistance to the vast majority of Americans,” said Jane Larimer, Nacha President and CEO. “All Direct Deposits are delivered on time and paid on the intended date. With Same Day ACH, urgent Direct Deposit payments can be initiated, and funds made available all within a single day.”

Internet-initiated payments, which includes primarily online bill payments and account-to-account transfers, increased nearly 16%. Person-to-person transfers rose 48%. Both results are consistent with people making more payments remotely and shifting from paper checks to electronic payments.

The pandemic’s impact was also apparent in some payment volume declines. Most dramatically, check conversion payments—in which a consumer’s paper check is processed electronically as an ACH payment—declined by 24%. At the point-of-sale, check conversion volume declined by approximately 45%.

A 4% decline in a recurring bill payment category is reflective of some disruption to certain types of monthly bills, such as mortgages, rent and loans, as well as the deferral of the federal tax payment deadline. Healthcare claim payments to medical and dental providers fell 8% from the second quarter of 2019 as many practices were shut. 

Same Day ACH volume climbed 37% over a year earlier, with 81.6 million payments. The average dollar amount of a Same Day ACH payment increased by 33% in the second quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2020, as Nacha increased the allowable Same Day ACH transaction size to $100,000.

“ACH payments are for every day. As people, businesses and governments adapt to new conditions, they can rely on the ACH Network to deliver pay and benefits on time, to pay their bills, and so much more.” said Larimer. 

An infographic showing second quarter results is available for download as a PDF.

image of 2nd quarter infographic