Fed: Remote Payments Rapidly Gain on In-Person Card Payments

Fed: Remote Payments Rapidly Gain on In-Person Card Payments

January 23, 2020

Remote card payments reached $3.29 trillion in value in 2018 and grew 20.5 percent each year from 2015 to 2018. This according to recent figures from the U.S. Federal Reserve on payment trends. The research indicates the growth of remote payments is driven in part by growing e-commerce card payments and the use of cards for recurring bill payments.

While the value of remote card payments is now nearly equal to in-person general-purpose card payments, according to the study, in-person card payments still outpace remote payments by number of transactions. In 2018, the number of in-person card payments was 86.1 billion, up 13.4 billion from 2015, compared with 33.5 billion remote card payments in 2018, up 14.3 billion from 2015. 

By value, from 2015 to 2018, remote card payments increased 14.4 percent per year to $3.29 trillion, compared to a 4 percent per year growth rate for in-person card payments over the same period to $3.3 trillion. From 2012 to 2018, the increase in the total value of remote card payments was nearly four times the increase in the total value of in-person card payments.

ACH Payments Also on the Upswing

ACH payments are also increasing rapidly, according to the research. ACH payments, which include both credit transfers and debit transfers, grew 6 percent per year by number and 7.2 percent per year by value from 2015 to 2018, faster than ACH growth from 2012 to 2015. 

In 2018, for the first time, the number of ACH debit transfers (16.6 billion) exceeded the number of check payments (14.5 billion). In 2000, ACH debit transfers were at 2.1 billion compared to 42.6 billion check payments. 

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Joan Goodchild

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