Automatic Payments Exceed Checks For First Time

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In an important milestone for the payments systems, automatic payments have exceeded check writing for the first time this year as the dominant method for paying recurring bills, according to a new study. The study, conducted by MasterCard, the American Bankers Association and Dove Consulting, shows that more than two-thirds of U.S. households (67%) now pay some recurring bills automatically, compared to those still writing checks (64%). Almost four in ten households link payments automatically to a credit card (38%) and three in ten households charge them automatically to a debit card (31%). Among automatic bill paying household, the number of bills paid automatically rose in the last five years from an average of 3.1 bill per household in 2000, to 4.4 bills today. During the same period the number of check written declined by almost 59%, from 4.4 to 2.4 among those households.

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