NACHA reported that 2011 ACH payment volume totaled more than 20.2 billion transactions, up more than 4% from a year earlier.

The increase was attributed to additional native electronic payments, more online payments by consumers and a rise in the use of the ACH Network for vendor payments and business-to-business transactions, NACHA said Thursday.

Native electronic payments, which are payments that start as electronic, increased about 5% from 2010. This indicates that more customers and businesses are making electronic payments rather than through cash or checks, Janet O. Estep, president and chief executive of NACHA, said in a news release.

Consumer-initiated entries transactions rose about 13% year over year. Direct ACH debit payments authorized through the Internet or a mobile device increased more than 9% and made up about 16.7% of the total network volume.

As for business-to-business transactions, CTX transactions grew by almost 13% and CCD transactions rose almost 5% from 2010.