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Federal Reserve [Non-Cash] Payments Study 2016

The Federal Reserve Payments Study 2016 (2016 study) is the sixth in a series of triennial studies conducted since 2001 by the Federal Reserve System to estimate aggregate trends in noncash payments in the United States. This brief contains an early look at the use of core payment systems and some new information that provides a breakdown on types of general- purpose payment card fraud. Additional detailed information will be released in 2017 as the results of further analysis become final.

Estimates presented in this initial data release are based on survey data gathered from depository and financial institutions, general-purpose card networks, and processors and issuers of various private-label payment instruments.2 The 2016 study covers the total number and value of all noncash payments estimated to have been made in 2015 by U.S. consumers and businesses, including for-profit and not-for-profit enterprises, and federal, state, and local government agencies.

Payments included in the study were initiated from accounts domiciled in the United States and typically involved the use of debit cards (including prepaid and non-prepaid cards), credit cards, electronic credit and debit transfers using the automated clearinghouse (ACH) system, or checks.3 Prepaid debit and credit card payments include payments made with both general-purpose cards issued by depository institutions and processed over card networks and private-label cards issued by merchants and processed over proprietary networks. Prepaid debit card payments also include electronic benefit transfer (EBT) payments used to disburse certain federal and state government benefits. This study does not estimate the number and value of cash payments; however, it does provide estimates of activities related to cash payments, such as automated teller machine (ATM) cash withdrawals.

Download the full PDF Report here.

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