ACH Volume Growth Again Surpasses 5% To Hit 25.6 Billion Transactions in 2016

April 14, 2017

By John Stewart

Automated clearing house volume grew by more than 1 billion transactions in 2016, ACH network governing body NACHA reported this week.

Herndon, Va.-based NACHA says traffic on the network, which connects virtually all U.S. financial institutions, hit 25.6 billion transactions, up 5.3% from 2015. That grand total includes on-us transactions.

Excluding on-us and direct-send traffic, ACH transactions totaled 20.3 billion, up 5.3% from 19.3 billion in 2015. ACH users moved $43.7 trillion in value last year, up 5.1% from 2015.

The signature event of NACHA’s 2016 was the September launch of same-day settlement for ACH credits. Same-day volume totaled 13 million transactions worth nearly $17 billion, NACHA reported. Direct deposits accounted for 52% of same-day volume, while business-to-business transactions made up 32%. Person-to-person payments accounted for 13.5% of same-day volume, followed by consumer bill payments at 2%. Next up are ACH debits, set to launch this September.

“The volume figures show strong use of same-day ACH in its first few months of activity, and broad use,” NACHA president and chief executive Janet O. Estep said in a statement. “Like traditional ACH transactions, same-day ACH has many of the same robust application capabilities, and the numbers show that businesses and consumers are taking full advantage of it. When same-day ACH debits become available in September of this year, we expect to see this trend continue, and anticipate even stronger and more variety in the use of same-day ACH.”

Other ACH highlights from 2016:

• P2P payments through the WEB credit transaction code jumped 39% to nearly 79 million transactions. WEB debits, a code that includes online purchases, grew 12.6% to 4.58 billion transactions. Together, WEB credits and debits comprise 23% of ACH network volume.

• Transactions originating with paper checks continued their long-term decline as consumers abandon check writing. ARC, the code for checks sent to lock boxes for bill payments and converted to ACH transactions, declined 8.3% to 1.35 billion transactions. Two point-of-sale codes, POP and BOC, slipped 14.4% and 14.6%, respectively.

• Network quality was stable, with the unauthorized debit return rate remaining at 0.03%.

• The top five ACH originators and their total 2016 transactions (excluding on-us) and percentage increases over 2015 were: Wells Fargo & Co., 4.88 billion, 7.8%; JPMorgan Chase & Co., 3.76 billion, 2.5%; Bank of America Corp., 2.51 billion, 4.1%; Citigroup Inc., 904.6 million, 3.6%, and U.S. Bancorp, 699.9 million, 2.8%.

NACHA’s annual meeting is set for April 23-26 in Austin, Texas.