February 11, 2009

The number of ACH payments in the 4th quarter 2008 grew by 4.5 percent over the same period in 2007, topping 3.8 billion, according to statistics released by NACHA " The Electronic Payments Association (Herndon, Va.). Internet-initiated ACH payments (known as WEB entries) increased 16.5 percent over fourth quarter 2007 volumes. Strong growth also occurred with certain business-to-business payments (known as CTX entries) in which remittance information is exchanged electronically. The number of these payments grew by 15 percent over fourth quarter 2007 levels, NACHA reported.

The number of WEB transactions in the fourth quarter 2008 reached 552 million, and accounted for $220 billion in transfers. In the business-to-business segment, the number of CTX payments in the fourth quarter 2008 was 14.4 million, for $691 billion. More than 195 million electronic remittance records moved with these payments.

Back-office conversion (BOC) grew to more than 39 million payments in fourth quarter 2008, from 3 million payments a year ago, as several national retailers are implementing BOC programs. BOC volume increased 49 percent from third to fourth quarter 2008. "Eighty percent of ACH network volume is not related to check conversion activity," noted Janet O. Estep, NACHA president and CEO, in a statement.

Katherine Burger is Editorial Director of Bank Systems & Technology and Insurance & Technology, members of UBM TechWeb's InformationWeek Financial Services. She assumed leadership of Bank Systems & Technology in 2003 and of Insurance & ...