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The use of checks and other noncash payment instruments in the United States


  • Geoffrey R. Gerdes
  • Jack K. Walton


Statistical estimates indicate that the use of checks in the United States has been declining since the mid-1990s, even as the population and the level of economic activity have been increasing. In contrast, the use of electronic payments has been growing at high and accelerating rates. Nonetheless, the paper check remains the predominant means of making retail payments and will likely continue to play a significant role in the U.S. payment system for the foreseeable future. The number and value of checks paid varies across depository institutions according to type, size, and location, in part a result of differences in the use of checks and electronic payments by households, businesses, and governments. Overall, household's share of total checks written has increased relative to that of businesses and governments.

Suggested Citation

  • Geoffrey R. Gerdes & Jack K. Walton, 2002. "The use of checks and other noncash payment instruments in the United States," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), vol. 88(Aug), pages 360-374, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgrb:y:2002:i:aug:p:360-374:n:v.88no.8
    DOI: 10.17016/bulletin.2002.88-8

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    More about this item


    Payment systems; Electronic funds transfers;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages


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