In 2009 only 10% of cashless transactions will be check-based

Tthe annual number of electronic payment transactions, currently at approximately 210 bln worldwide, will double by the end of the decade and is growing at a compounded annual rate equal to four times the expected growth in real gross domestic product (GDP). A compound annual growth rate of 12.9% was predicted for all forms of electronic payments globally from 2004 to 2009. This compared to a forecasted 3.2% growth in real GDP during the same period in 79 countries.

The Eastern Europe and Asia/Pacific regions are forecast to lead the world in electronic payment transaction growth, predicted at 21.6% and 19.2% respectively, for the period of 2004 to 2009. Other regions including the Middle East, forecast to increase 15.9%, and NAFTA (North American Free Trade Alliance), expected to grow 12.3%, point to considerable growth within economies that have already established their electronic payment infrastructures. During the five-year period from 2004 to 2009, forecast volumes for electronic payments are expected to double across the world, with China and India doubling more quickly at a rate of every three and four years, respectively.

Conversely, the use of checks as a form of payment is forecast to continue its decline; as measured in 2004, approximately 20% of non-cash transactions were check-based; in 2009, only 10% of total payments are predicted to be in check form, ACI Worldwide reports.