Federal Reserve Payments Study Reveals Trends in Non-Cash Payment Patterns

Jan 07, 2014

Just over a few weeks ago the latest edition of the Federal Reserves Payment Study was released to the public. The study revealed more about the growing trend of non-cash payments shifting towards credit and debit cards and away from checks. These trends are important to track for small business owners as they identify growing consumer tendencies that will impact your business in the near future.

What is the Federal Reserves Payment Study?

This study is conducted every three years in order to put non-cash payments in the United States under a microscope. The data compiled for the study comes from three sources: the Depository and Financial Institutions Payments Survey, the Network, Processors, and Issuers Payment Survey, and the Check Sample Survey. The survey is released every three years in order to provide an objective perspective on  non-cash payment processes over the span of a decade’s time. Each study is compared to the results of previous studies in order to draw conclusions about payment trends.

What Were the Key Findings of the 2013 Survey?

The survey revealed that the number of non-cash transactions is growing. Non-cash transactions, excluding wire transfers, grew at an annual rate of 4.4% in comparison to prior years (2009-2012). Correspondingly, the number of credit card payments rose by 7.6% annually. ACH payments however declined in annual rate from 10.9% to 5.5% alongside a decline in checks which have fallen to less than half the number of checks used 10 years ago. Finally, they estimate that there were $6.1 billion worth of unauthorized transactions in 2012.

What Does this Survey Mean for my Business?

If you are in a high risk business this underscores the importance of securing a merchant account. With more and more transactions being paid using credit and/or debit cards, the ability to process these transactions is pivotal. Finding a high risk merchant account tailored to your can make or break your small business as non-cash payments continue to rise. Additionally, with such a massive amount of money lost each year to unauthorized transactions it’s important for both the consumers and the merchants to emphasize security for credit and debit card transactions.

Surveys such as the Federal Reserves Payment Study are important for your business as they give you information regarding trends that have direct impacts on the day-to-day operation of your business. Take advantage of tools such as these to make sure your business is on the right track moving forward. Be proactive and check our blog for information impacting your business as being aware of current trends will only help you run your business in the most efficient manner possible.

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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