The growth of ACH payments for electronic bill payment continues. As paper check writing declines, ACH payments are on the rise.
NACHA released its report for Q4 2011 ACH transactions. WEB entry classifications for online bill payments rose 6.9% to 685.9 million transactions, compared to 641.5 million for the same quarter of 2010. WEB transactions are usually payments from biller websites or made through a third party processor.
Consumer entry bill pay (CIE) increased 11.2%, with growth to 40.6 million transctions compared to 36.5 million for the previous year. CIEs are credit transactions made through an online banking portal. CIEs include Secure Vault Payments and EBIDS bill payment services. EBIDS generated 19 million new ACH transactions in 2011. EBIDS was launched commercially in February of 2011.
Secure Vault Payments, a payment method that allows consumers to “push” payments to merchants through online banking sites, continues to add new bank partners. About 40 banks offer Secure Vault Payments now, including Regions Financial Corp, U.S. Bancorp, PNC Financial Services Group Inc., Union Bank of California, and many other smaller regional banks.
Secure Vault should be adding more banks to the platform later this year. eWise, the technology operator for the switch, is enhancing the platform to make it easier for banks to participate without the need for the banks to pay for developmental and operational expenses
WEB and CIE codes are projected to grow to 3 billion yearly. At the same time, accounts receivable conversion (ARC) transactions, which convert paper checks to electronic transactions, continues to shrink. ARC transactions slid 9.7% to 484.8 million transactions compared to 536.8 million in Q 4 2010.
Telephone (TEL) transactions increased slightly with gains of 0.7% in Q 4 211. There were 92.9 million TEL transactions compared to 92.3 million the previous year.
Back-office conversion (BOC) volume grew 7.6% to 55.1 million transactions compared to 51.2 million in Q4 2010. Point of purchase (POP) classifications dropped 7.6% to 126.9 million transactions form 137.4 million the year before. The drop in POP indicates that fewer consumers are writing checks to pay for retail purchases.