Fed on cusp of launching triennial payments study, which includes dual surveys

Financial institutions and payment organizations should watch their mailboxes for invitations being sent this month to participate in the Federal Reserve’s triennial payments study – which will actually be two studies in one, the central bank said.

In a release Thursday, the Federal Reserve said its 2019 payments study – which, among other things, in the past has looked at noncash payments, changes in payments fraud, and withdrawals from automated teller machines – will, in effect, be two surveys, “each contributing valuable information required to obtain robust estimates of totals and developing trends in the number and value of payments made with checks, cards, electronic transfers, and various alternative payment initiation methods and systems for calendar year 2018,” the Fed said.

The study is the seventh the central bank has conducted.

The first survey will be of the commercial banks, savings institutions, and credit unions that process the majority of payments across the country. A second survey will be conducted of payment card networks, third-party payment processors, issuers of private-label cards, and providers of various alternative payment initiation methods and systems.

The Fed said it would work with McKinsey & Company and Blueflame Consulting, LLC to conduct the overall study. Only aggregate estimates are reported, the Fed said, and all survey data reported by participants remains confidential.

Federal Reserve announces seventh triennial study to examine U.S. payments usage