Electronic payments continue to grow, rising 56% from four years ago and more than 16% over the past twelve months. Nearly 14 billion automated clearing house (ACH) payments were made last year, which includes payroll direct deposit, Social Security benefits, tax refunds, direct payment of consumer bills, e-checks, business-to-business payments, and Federal tax withholdings. NACHA estimates that 6.5 – 7.0 billion consumer bills were collected via the ACH Network in 2005, including pre-authorized debits, Internet and telephone payments, and checks converted into ACH payments. More than 71% of the private-sector workforce in the U.S. now uses direct deposit. The number of pre-authorized, automatic bill payments increased by 5.3% to 3.1 billion payments. For more information visit: “http://www.nacha.org”:http://www.nacha.org.