October 30, 2019

Thriving and Then Some: A Big Quarter for the ACH Network


Jane Larimer

Jane Larimer

President and CEO


With two record-setting months, double-digit growth in several areas, and $14 trillion in payments, the third quarter results for the modern ACH Network are impressive. It’s worth taking a closer look, because the ACH Network was flourishing.

Same Day ACH is one reason why. It’s been on a steady growth track, and July saw more than 1 million daily payments for the first time. The record didn’t last long, though. In September it hit 1.1 million payments a day. 

For the quarter there were 66.6 million Same Day ACH payments, a 54% jump from a year earlier. The value increase is even more impressive: up 65% to $67.1 billion. 

And while Same Day ACH deserves a lot of the credit, it’s far from the only growth area in today’s ACH Network. 
Take a look at business-to-business (B2B) transactions, one of the last vestiges of check payments. There’s evidence that wall is starting to crack.

Close to 3 billion B2B payments were made using ACH from January through September. That’s almost 12% more that in the same time in 2018. The value of those payments—nearly $28 trillion—is an 8% gain. 

And those stats include some 37 million Same Day ACH B2B payments worth $61 billion. 

So it came as no surprise in September when the Association for Financial Professionals’ “2019 AFP Electronic Payments Survey Report” found that the number of B2B payments made by check is down to 42%. It’s the first time that’s slipped below the halfway point. 

Another area where the ACH Network is seeing steady growth is in healthcare claim payments. Doctors, dentists, hospitals and other healthcare providers received 87.4 million Healthcare EFT payments in the third quarter, bringing the total so far this year to 252.2 million payments, up 12% from the first nine months of 2018. 

Federal rules require that if a provider requests to be paid by ACH, insurers must oblige. Practitioners are seeing the benefits of having insurance payments come in electronically. It’s faster and safer than checks, and far less expensive than virtual credit cards. 

We could talk about the 19% rise in P2P payments, or the 15% gain for internet-initiated payments. But you get the idea. The modern ACH Network is thriving.