More than 174 billion non-cash payments—those made with debit card, credit card, ACH and checks—were made in the U.S. in 2018, totaling $97.04 trillion, the Federal Reserve reported today in its triennial payments study.
Debit card payments—which accounted 55.4% of all card payments in 2018—saw an increase of 16 billion transactions since 2015, totaling 72.7 billion in 2018. Credit card payments, meanwhile, increased by 33.7 billion from 2015 transactions to total 44.7 billion in 2018, accounting for 34.1% of all card payments in 2018. Prepaid debit cards accounted for 10.5% of card transactions, down slightly from the previous study and totaling 13.8 billion transactions.
ACH payments continued to grow at an annual rate of 6%. For the first time in 2018, ACH debit transfers exceeded the number of check payments, with 16.6 billion ACH debit transfers made compared to 14.5 billion check payments. Check payments overall continued to decline, falling 4% per year between 2015 and 2018. The study also noted that more than half of all card transactions—48.8 billion—used chip authentication, compared to just 1.4 billion in 2015.