Magazine article American Banker

In Brief: Fed Banks to Study Checks, E-Payments

Magazine article American Banker

In Brief: Fed Banks to Study Checks, E-Payments

Article excerpt

Carrying through on its vow to follow up on its landmark 2001 survey of check-writing in the United States, the Federal Reserve Banks said Monday they will conduct two studies in the first half of this year.

One of the studies will calculate the number and the value of checks being written; the other will do the same with electronic payments.

Data collection for the electronic payment study will take place this month, the banks said, and the check study will take place in late spring. The results will be released this year.

As they did in 2001, the Federal Reserve banks will work with the Atlanta consulting firm Global Concepts Inc. on the check study. They will also work with Dove Consulting Group Inc. of Boston for the electronic payments study.

The 2001 study classified the checks in various categories, such as consumer-to-business and business-to-business. The banks will not do that in this year's studies; they will focus exclusively on the volume and value of the two types of payments.

David Fettig, a spokesman for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said that the changes in the types of payments being made have not been as dynamic as the changes in the volume and value of checks and electronic payments.

The surveys are being conducted under the auspices of the Fed's Financial Services Policy Committee. Responsibility for this committee rotates among the bank presidents; Gary Stern of the Minneapolis bank currently oversees the committee.

"We believe that the information gained from these two studies, when compared to results from the three previous studies, will be extremely important in charting trends in the nation's payments system that will be useful for all industry participants," Richard Oliver, a senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Federal Reserve System's manager for retail payments, said in a press release. …

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