Skip to content
Go to GoCardless homepage
Pricing
Log inSign up

ACH in Numbers: 106 Key Stats and Facts about ACH Payments

ACH (Automated Clearing House) is a network used for electronically moving money between bank accounts across the United States.

It’s existed since the 1970s, being run by an organization called Nacha. Billions of transactions are processed by the ACH network every month, equating to trillions of dollars being moved each year.

Below, we’ve collected every stat about ACH you’ll ever need, all in one centralized resource.

ACH network volume and value statistics

The ACH network processes a huge number of transactions (volume) worth an enormous amount (value). Not only is the ACH network a payment system of an impressive scale, it’s continuously growing year-on-year, remaining popular with businesses and consumers alike.

Below are key stats on the network’s volume and value growth, grouped into:

  • Long term trends

  • Yearly numbers (2012 through to 2020)

  • B2B payments

  • Direct Deposit payments

  • Healthcare payments

  • Internet payments

  • P2P payments

  • Same Day ACH

Nacha releases quarterly and yearly infographics on key ACH stats, but illustrating the trend from year to year shows how strong the ACH network is.

The ACH network is projected to have its biggest year ever in 2020.

The magnitude of the ACH network’s growth - in both transaction volume and value - has generally been accelerating since 2012.

But, although COVID-19 remains a variable of not-entirely-predictable effect, it appears to have already shown its face in the slowing down of the network’s growth in Q1 and Q2 of 2020.

Despite the rate of growth slowing, the overall growth still continues, setting up the ACH network to have its biggest year ever.

Continuing at the current rate, the ACH network will cross a milestone 7+ billion transactions processed in a single quarter - making 2020 its biggest year to date.

  • >50% - the growth in ACH transaction volume over the last decade (Source)

Q2 2020

Here’s a snapshot of the growth of the ACH network in Q2 2020.

  • 6.6 billion - the total volume of ACH network transactions (3.7 billion were debits, 2.9 billion were credits) (Source)

  • 7.9% - the YoY volume growth over Q2 2019 (an increase of 484 million transactions) (Source)

Q1 2020

Here’s a snapshot of the growth of the ACH network in Q1 2020.

  • 6.4 billion - the total volume of ACH network transactions (3.7 billion were debits, 2.7 billion were credits (Source)

  • 7.1% - the YoY volume growth over Q1 2019 (an increase of 423 million transactions) (Source)

2019

Here’s a look at the growth of the ACH network in 2019.

  • 24.7 billion - the total volume of ACH network transactions (14.4 billion were debits, 10.3 billion were credits) (Source)

  • 7.7% - the volume growth over 2018 (volume has increased by more than 1 billion transactions every year, for the previous 5 years) (Source)

  • $55.8 trillion - the total value of all ACH network transactions ($19.6 trillion were debits, $36.2 trillion were credits) (Source)

  • 8.9% - the value growth over 2018 (value has increased by more than $1 trillion every year, for the previous 7 years) (Source)

  • 75 - the equivalent average number of ACH payments per person in the United States over the year (Source)

2018

Here’s a look at the growth of the ACH network in 2018.

  • 23 billion - the total number of ACH payments processed in 2018 (13.4 billion were debits, 9.5 billion were credits) (Source)

  • 6.9% - the volume growth over 2017 (Source)

  • $51.2 trillion - the total value of ACH payments processed in 2018 ($17.8 trillion was debits, $33.4 trillion was credits) (Source)

  • 9.5% - the value growth over 2017 (Source)

  • 10,385 - the number of round trips between the Earth and the moon, if the value of 2018’s transactions was laid end-to-end in $1 bills (Source)

2017

Here’s a look at the growth of the ACH network in 2017.

  • 21.5 billion - the total number of ACH payments processed in 2017 (12.5 billion were debits, 9 billion were credits) (Source)

  • 5.7% - the volume growth over 2016 (Source)

  • 66 - the equivalent number of transactions per person in the United States (Source)

  • $46.8 trillion - the total value of ACH payments processed in 2017 ($16.6 trillion was debits, $30.2 trillion was credits) (Source)

  • 6.9% - the value growth over 2016 (Source)

Pre-2017

Here’s a look at the growth of the ACH network before 2017 - the annual volumes and values of ACH payments processed from 2012 to 2016 (Source):

Year

Number of payments processed

Total value of payments processed (USD)

2016

20.3 billion

$43 trillion

2015

19.3 billion

$41.6 trillion

2014

18.3 billion

$40 trillion

2013

17.6 billion

$38.7 trillion

2012

16.8 billion

$36.9 trillion

B2B payments

There are a few categories of ACH payments that tend to dominate the network, making up a significant portion of the usage. Business-to-business (B2B) payments is one such category. Below are key stats illustrating the growth of these transactions from 2017 to 2020.

  • 3.6% - the volume growth in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019 (Source)

  • 11.7% - the volume growth in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019 (Source)

  • 12% - the volume growth in 2019 (an increase to 4 billion transactions) (Source)

  • 9.4% - the volume growth in 2018 (an increase to 3.6 billion transactions) (Source)

  • 5.6% - the volume growth in 2017 (an increase to 3.3 billion transactions) (Source)

Direct Deposit payments

Direct Deposit payments are another category of ACH payments that make up major usage of the network. Below are key stats showing the growth of these transactions from 2018 to 2020.

  • 17% - the volume growth in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019 (Source)

  • 3.9% - the volume growth in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019 (Source)

  • 6% - the volume growth in 2019 (an increase to 7.2 billion transactions) (Source)

  • 4.4% - the volume growth in 2018 (an increase to 6.8 billion transactions) (Source)

Healthcare payments

Healthcare payments are another category of ACH payments that make up major usage of the network. Below are key stats showing the growth of these transactions from 2019 to 2020.

  • 8.2% - the volume decline in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019 (Source)

  • 13.5% - the volume growth in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019 (Source)

  • 11.9% - the volume growth in 2019 (an increase to 343.2 million transactions) (Source)

Internet payments

Internet payments are another category of ACH payments that make up major usage of the network. Below are key stats showing the growth of these transactions from 2017 to 2020.

  • 15.8% - the volume growth in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019 (Source)

  • 14.8% - the volume growth in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019 (Source)

  • 13.3% - the volume growth in 2019 (an increase to 6.7 billion transactions) (Source)

  • 14.2% - the volume growth in 2018 (an increase to 5.9 billion transactions) (Source)

  • 13.1% - the volume growth in 2017 (an increase to 5.2 billion transactions) (Source)

P2P payments

Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments are another category of ACH payments that make up major usage of the network. Below are key stats showing the growth of these transactions from 2017 to 2020.

  • 48.4% - the volume growth in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019 (Source)

  • 23.6% - the volume growth in Q1 2020 compared to Q1 2019 (Source)

  • 18.9% - the volume growth in 2019 (an increase to 153 million transactions) (Source)

  • 32.2% - the volume growth in 2018 (an increase to 128.7 million transactions) (Source)

  • 23.3% - the volume growth in 2017 (an increase to 97 million transactions) (Source)

Same Day ACH

Same Day ACH is an innovation to ACH payment processing times, introduced by Nacha in 2016. Virtually all types of ACH payments are now eligible for same-day processing, enabling businesses to operate with greater payments efficiency. 

  • 37% - the volume growth of Same Day ACH in Q2 2020 over Q2 2019 (from 59.8 million transactions to 81.6 million) (Source)

  • 33% - the increase in the average dollar amount of a Same Day ACH payment from Q1 2020 to Q2 2020 (Source)

  • $100,000 - the increased per-transaction limit, implemented on 20 March 2020 (Source)

  • 42% - the volume growth of Same Day ACH in Q1 2020 over Q1 2019 (from 52.7 million transactions to 75 million) (Source)

  • 250.4 million - the total volume of Same Day ACH transactions in 2019 (102.7 million were debits, 147.7 million were credits) (Source)

  • $247 billion - the total value of Same Day ACH transactions in 2019 ($102 billion was debits, $145 billion was credits) (Source)

  • 41% - the volume growth of Same Day ACH in 2019 over 2018 (Source)

  • 55% - the value growth of Same Day ACH in 2019 over 2018 (Source)

  • 1 million - the number of payments moved per day by Same Day ACH in 2019 (totalling a value of $1 billion) (Source)

  • ~178 million - the number of Same Day ACH payments in 2018 (Source)

  • ~$160 billion - the value of Same Day ACH payments in 2018 (Source)

  • 468% - the volume growth in 2017 (an increase to 75 million transactions) (Source)

Top ACH originators and receivers by volume (2019)

As payments made on the ACH network are made bank-to-bank, banks are involved in the process at each end - originating the payment and receiving the payment. Below are the top 10 banks involved at each end, in terms of number of ACH transactions across 2019.

Originators:

  1. Wells Fargo & Company

  2. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co

  3. Bank of America Corporation

  4. Citigroup, Inc.

  5. Capital One Financial Corporation

  6. U.S. Bancorp

  7. PNC Financial Services Group

  8. Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

  9. Fifth Third Bancorp

  10. Regions Financial Corporation

Receivers:

  1. Bank of America Corporation

  2. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co

  3. Wells Fargo & Company

  4. PNC Financial Services Group

  5. Truist Financial Corp

  6. U.S. Bancorp

  7. TD Bank

  8. USAA Federal Savings Bank

  9. Regions Financial Corporation

  10. Navy Federal Credit Union

(Source)

ACH cost statistics

One of the key benefits of ACH payments over credit card and debit card payments, and wire transfers, is their lower cost:

  • $0.29 - median internal cost for processing ACH payments (Source)

History of the ACH network

How did the ACH network become such a powerhouse in the US economy? It’s the result of a 50+ year journey. Some of the key milestones are below.

  • 1968 - The first automated clearing house starts processing payments, but it’s not in the US, it’s the UK’s - BACS. (Source)

  • Late 1960s - A group of banks in California seek a replacement for check payments. (Source)

  • 1972 - The first automated clearing house in the US opens, being operated by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. (Source)

  • 1974 - Nacha is formed by the various regional ACH networks that had sprung up over the previous two years. (Source)

  • 1975 - The Social Security Administration begins testing Direct Deposit. (Source)

  • 2001 - ACH payments initiated on the internet and by phone become available. (Source)

  • 2014 - Healthcare EFT standard is federally mandated, requiring all health plans to pay healthcare providers by a standardized ACH payment at the provider’s request. (Source)

  • September 2016 - Same Day ACH payments begin, for credits. (Source)

  • September 2017 - Phase two of Same Day ACH arrives, allowing debits. (Source)

  • March 2020 - Same Day ACH dollar limit per transaction increases from $25,000 to $100,000. (Source)

More facts about ACH

Nacha openly shares a lot of data on the ACH network’s payment volumes and values, however there are other interesting stats about the network out there. Here are some interesting ones we couldn’t categorize anywhere else.

  • 87 - The number of other ACH systems around the world, outside the US, as identified by the World Bank in their 2010 survey. (Source)

  • 98 - The number of other ACH systems around the world, outside the US, as identified by the World Bank in their 2012 survey. (Source)

  • 93% - The amount of American workers that get paid by Direct Deposit. (Source)

  • 82% - The amount of American businesses that used ACH to make some sort of payment, in 2016. (Source)

  • 99% - The amount of the Social Security Administration’s payments that are made by Direct Deposit. (Source)

  • $129.9 million - the Federal Reserve’s 2015 operating costs of the ACH network. (Source)

  • $129.8 million - the Federal Reserve’s 2015 revenue, indicating the ACH network is run at-cost. (Source)

  • ~80 - The number of reject codes for why an ACH transaction might go wrong. (Source)

  • >560 - The number of pages in Nacha’s Operating Rules and Guidelines. (Source)

  • Celebrity endorsements - Perhaps surprisingly, Nacha attributes part of the ACH network’s popularity to several celebrity endorsements they had in the past. (Source)

GoCardless makes it easy to collect recurring payments

Sign upContact sales

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Contact sales

Contact Us

Sales

Contact sales

+1-415-223-0253

help@gocardless.com

Support

help@gocardless.com

Seen 'GoCardless Ltd' on your bank statement? Learn more

GoCardless Ltd., 600 California St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA

GoCardless (company registration number 07495895) is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017, registration number 597190, for the provision of payment services.