Paving the cowpath – otherwise known as US payments
The future of payments is certainly not a straight line to some kind of electronic, seamless, card or phone based system; not by a long shot, certainly in the US where cheques (checks) rule. However the clearing method has gone electronic with the acceptance of image based depositing.
Paper check writing continues to persist as a significant portion of noncash
payments, but interbank processing and clearing of these checks are virtually all
electronic. As in 2009, almost all checks in 2012 were either cleared by electronic
image exchange or converted to ACH payments.
This is a triennial report from the Federal Reserve Board and is the 5th since 2001, so its an important record of US payment trends and statistics.
Original report also here.