Federal Reserve Study Reveals Biggest Share of Checks Are Consumer to Business
March 25, 2008
Circular No. 11944

The Federal Reserve’s 2007 study of the composition of the check market shows that nearly 50 percent of checks written are consumer-to-business checks. The Check Sample Study reports on the composition of the check market based on responses from nine large financial institutions that together account for about one quarter of total U.S. paid check volume.

The study, which categorizes the use of checks by payer, payee and purpose, is the third component of the 2007 Federal Reserve Payments Study. Results of the first two components of the study were released December 10, 2007.

The highest percentage of check payers (writers) were consumers at 58 percent, while the highest percentage of check payees (receivers) were businesses at 72 percent. The check purpose with the highest percentage was remittance payments (payments to business and government payees that do not occur at the point of sale) at 49 percent.

The summary report of the 2007 Federal Reserve Payments Study revealed that 2.6 billion consumer checks were converted and cleared as automated clearinghouse (ACH) payments rather than check payments in 2006, an eight-fold increase over 2003.

The 2007 Federal Reserve Payments Study consisted of three research efforts commissioned to estimate the annual number, dollar value and composition of noncash retail payments in the United States.

See the press release for full details.

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