Automatic Payment Tops Checks For FirstTime

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WASHINGTON - (10/28/05) -- In an important milestone for thepayments systems, automatic payments have exceeded check writingfor the first time this year as the dominant method for payingrecurring bills, according to a new study. The study, conducted byMasterCard, the American Bankers Association and Dove Consulting,shows that more than two-thirds of U.S. households (67%) now paysome recurring bills automatically, compared to those still writingchecks (64%). Almost four in ten households link paymentsautomatically to a credit card (38%) and three in ten householdscharge them automatically to a debit card (31%). Among automaticbill paying household, the number of bills paid automatically rosein the last five years from an average of 3.1 bill per household in2000, to 4.4 bills today. During the same period the number ofcheck written declined by almost 59%, from 4.4 to 2.4 among thosehouseholds. The study also found that almost half of all creditcard holders (47%) and more than half of debit card holders (53%)would consider adopting or adding additional recurringpayments.

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