Change has been brewing in both the way businesses collect payments from customers, and how customers prefer to pay for goods and services. A study that was recently released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, highlights changes that have been happening in the alternatives to cash payments scene.

The current study details emerging trends in noncash payment activity across the United States. It picks up where the previous study (2007) ended and spans 2006-2009.

Since the release of the 2007 study, much has changed in the way that consumers and businesses engage in commerce. Electronic payments have expanded their footprint by increasing from nearly two-thirds of all noncash payments to now representing more than three-fourths.

Excluding credit cards and checks, usage of all other noncash payment forms have steadily been increasing.

Between 2006 and 2009 electronic payments growth has been expanding annually at a rate of about 9.3% . Total annual transaction volume for electronic payments exceeds 84.5 billion, representing a dollar value of over $40.7 trillion.

Of the 84.5 billion electronic transactions, ACH transaction volume made up 19.1 billion, coming in 3rd after debit and credit cards respectively. ACH dollar volume however, represents a whopping $37.2 trillion of the $40.7 trillion electronic payments total.

According to these results, ACH payments seem to be the most trusted and favored payment vehicle based on the amounts of money being moved.

The report released on December 8th represents only a portion of the comprehensive study commissioned by Federal Reserve. More findings will be released sometime early next year, and will detail all the facets of noncash payments more completely.

For the entire report summary click  here or for an abridged version, click here