Automated Clearing Settlement System (ACSS) statistics

Payment items through the Automated Clearing Settlement System (ACSS)

Annual statistics (2015-2021)

Payment item   2021 2020 2019 2018* 2017 2016 2015
Cheques and paper items


354,070,262 383,034,454 467,054,748 510,833,402 553,244,377 599,371,256 658,084,133
Value ($000) 2,951,034,975 2,522,197,149 2,868,976,753 2,947,829,946 3,039,748,141 2,986,314,735 3,035,540,453
AFT debits Volume 1,012,746,276 965,372,927 958,027,552 913,806,887 866,743,770 820,667,492 785,411,039
Value ($000) 1,090,139,710 909,490,751 876,277,750 816,113,583 746,717,137 693,570,051 674,284,957
AFT credits Volume 1,138,887,577 1,077,608,821 1,015,246,068 972,194,809 931,687,018 907,561,585 871,283,602
 Value ($000) 3,634,608,752 3,137,248,808 2,868,365,422 2,666,996,234 2,519,143,774 2,308,666,885 2,164,687,472
ABM transactions Volume 104,750,885 109,219,798 174,441,942 182,832,508 189,027,757 193,538,626 199,606,463
Value ($000) 16,465,445 17,081,815 25,137,442 25,000,129 24,925,052 24,534,117 24,865,061
POS debits and credits Volume 5,326,766,571 4,856,795,785 5,209,732,144 4,961,282,362 4,676,709,501 4,462,009,783 4,031,909,480
Value ($000) 219,841,282 200,034,698 201,268,683 197,165,376 190,012,046 182,604,880 173,024,279
EDI Volume 4,737,429 4,256,797 4,120,892 3,849,771 3,902,432 2,991,026 2,890,816
Value ($000) 199,624,150 177,506,892 191,387,043 213,857,346 221,636,531 211,474,395 213,457,039
Electronic remittances Volume 477,708,449 470,132,349 461,104,660 452,827,590 445,428,497 440,239,863 439,449,667
Value ($000) 298,802,916 264,224,755 251,018,151 235,786,348 216,711,955 199,503,343 184,242,791
 Total volume   8,419,667,449 7,866,420,931 8,289,728,006 7,997,627,329 7,666,743,352 7,426,379,631 6,988,635,200
 Total value ($000)   8,410,517,230 7,227,784,868 7,282,431,248 7,102,748,962 6,958,894,639 6,606,668,406 6,470,102,052

* There was a methodological change in 2018


  1. These statistics are accumulated through the ACSS reporting system. The direct clearers are responsible for entering the volumes and values of payment items into their categories.
  2. All references to the volume of payment items on this page are based on the number of items delivered through the clearing system. For official purposes under our bylaws, such as the calculation of members' dues, voting rights and direct clearer criteria, the total volume of payment items includes both items delivered and received through the clearing system.
  3. For all payment types mentioned, figures include only those items which are exchanged between directly clearing financial institutions through the ACSS. With respect to paper items for example, a cheque drawn on one financial institution, and deposited to a different account within that same institution (i.e., an on-us item) does not require settlement and therefore does not pass through the clearings.

    Payment items

    • Cheques: Paper-initiated payment items of value up to $25 million. These are mostly cheques, but also include items such as travellers' cheques, gift certificates and money orders. (Note: starting in 2014 the ACSS no longer distinguishes paper items based on their value).
    • Unqualified: Paper payment items which are not encoded with Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR). These include unencoded items such as counter cheques, as well as damaged items that cannot be processed automatically with readers or sorters.
    • Computer rejects: MICR-encoded paper items rejected when passing through readers or sorters. A MICR-encoded cheque will be rejected, for example, if there is a flaw or tear in the MICR line, or a pen stroke through it.
    • Paper remittances: Payment items accompanied by a paper remittance (or bill stub), that is MICR-encoded with a CCIN, for credit to a business, generally initiated via an ABM or FI branch.
    • Government items (paper): Government of Canada-issued paper instruments which include government cheques, redeemed bonds, treasury bills, and coupons.
    • Imaged paper items: Paper-based items exchanged electronically as images. The types of paper-based items that may be exchanged through this stream include: cheques, travellers' cheques, gift certificates and money orders.
    • Image paper returns: Paper items returned between financial institutions via electronic images.
    • AFT credits: Credit payment items exchanged in an Automated Funds Transfers File, such as direct deposit Items.
    • AFT debits: Debit payment items exchanged in an Automated Funds Transfers File, such as pre-authorized debits.
    • POS debits and credits: Debits or credit payments initiated in physical point-of-service environments using debit cards.
    • Online debits and credits: Debit or credit payments initiated in online point-of-service environments, in accordance with CPA Rule E2.
    • Shared ABM networks: ABM cash withdrawals, in which cardholders use ABM machines not directly owned or associated with the cardholder's bank or financial institution.
    • ABM adjustments: Corrections of errors occurring within the shared ABM network stream of transactions.
    • Electronic data interchange (EDI): Business-to-business electronic direct credits that are typically integrated with businesses' inventory management systems. EDI is often used by large businesses to process invoices and payments in an automated fashion and share large amounts of related data with suppliers and partners.
    • Electronic remittances: Bill payments involving businesses that have Corporate Creditor Identification Numbers (CCIN). CCIN enables efficient batch payment exchanges of bill payments between FIs and efficient communication of remittance information through EDI file standards. Most electronic remittances are initiated by payors through their use of online banking bill payment services.

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