The Federal Reserve announced its plan to examine the payments usage in the United States. It would be the sixth triennial study, which aims to determine the current aggregate volume and composition if electronic and check payments in the country.

The Federal Reserve started examining the U.S. payments usage in 2001 to provide the public and the payments industry with estimates and information about the evolving nature of the country’s payments system. A public report containing initial topline estimates is expected to be published in December 2016.

Federal Reserve To Examine U.S. Payments Usage

Federal Reserve to add significant improvements in the study

In a statement, Mary Kepler, a senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta said the survey instruments have been adapted and updated to keep pace with dynamic change in the U.S. payments system over the 15-year life of the study.

According to Kepler, the Federal Reserve will incorporate some improvements in the 2016 study on the U.S. payments usage. These improvements include the expansion of fraud-related information and the increase in the number of depository and financial institutions participating in the survey.

“These improvements will strengthen the value of the trend information and insights to be presented with the study’s findings,” said Kepler.

The study is composed of three complementary surveys

The Federal Reserve explained that the study on the U.S. payments usage was composed of three complementary surveys commissioned to estimate the number, dollar value, and composition of noncash retail payments in the country this year.

The payments data for various payment types will be requested from the financial institutions participating in two of the three survey components. According to the Federal Reserve, the third component of the study involves sampling of checks processed in 2015 to determine the distribution of party, counterparty, and purpose.

The Federal Reserve will use the results from the three survey components to estimate the current trends of payments instruments by businesses and consumers in the country.

Kepler said, “The industry’s participation and willingness to provide the full scope of the data requested is paramount to our ability to publish the timely and relevant results the industry has come to rely on to help objectively evaluate changes in the nation’s payments landscape.”

Based on previous studies, the payments system in the United States changed over time. The most recent changes included the increasing preference for debit card, credit card, and stored-value card. The Federal Reserve also noted the leveling in the growth of other types of electronic payments such as Automated Clearing House network.

McKinsey & Company and Blueflame Consulting will help the Federal Reserve in the conducting the study.