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The Emergence of Real-Time Payments: A Global Perspective

Real-time payment methods are quickly emerging as an alternative to traditional payment methods, with accelerated growth seen during and after the pandemic. As buyers and sellers worldwide shift to advanced and digital payment methods, such as BNPL, one-click payments, and real-time payments, the pandemic has changed the traditional payment landscape. The real-time payment market is forecasted to grow by a double-digit CAGR from 2022 through 2028, reaching a value in the billions of euros by 2028, according to our upcoming publication “Global Real-Time Payments Market 2023.”

Real-time payments offer many benefits, including reducing transaction costs, increasing the success rate of payments, and saving transfer time. They also have positive economic benefits, increasing net savings and rising GDP. The value of net savings and GDP facilitated by real-time payments is forecasted to rise to a triple-digit value in billions of euros by 2026. As businesses recognize the growing importance of real-time payments, they have begun to invest heavily in their existing payment infrastructure. In fact, more than two-thirds of surveyed large firms globally indicated that they plan to expand their real-time payments capacity in the next 12 months as of July 2022.

While the shift towards real-time payments witnesses a different growth trajectory across nations, countries all over the world are developing and modernizing their own real-time payment systems. For instance, UPI in India and PIX in Brazil are the frontrunners in terms of the adoption and usage of real-time payment systems. In Brazil, a certain high percentage of adults made or received a transaction via PIX as of February 2022, with the payment system accounting for a transfer value of certain trillions of euros in Q1 2022.

In Asia-Pacific, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines have developed their own instant payment system that has steadily gained the appeal of consumers. In the Philippines, InstaPay dominates the real-time payments landscape and allows instant low-value transfer of funds. The convenience of the system has increased its usage, and the number of transfers via InstaPay reached a number in the millions as of July 2022. Similarly, Malaysia also launched its own real-time payments system, DuitNow, which has made consistent progress and added new services such as recurring payments, QR code-based payments, future-dated payments, and real-time cross-border payments.

Moreover, in MENA and Africa, progress is being made in the growth of real-time payments. Saudi Arabia is forecasted to see a surge in the number of real-time transfers between 2021 and 2026, reaching a number in the millions by 2026. While the share of real-time payments volume in all payment transactions is expected to rise slightly by 2026, the UAE is also taking initiatives to streamline its real-time payments ecosystem. Although the UAE has its own real-time payment system known as Instant Payment Instruction System, it is available for only 8 hours a day for 5 days. To widen the scope of real-time payments in the UAE, the Central Bank of UAE decided to launch Instant Payment Platform as of 2023, which will allow instant 24/7 transfer of funds.

In conclusion, real-time payments are gradually gaining global appeal as an alternative payment method, and countries all over the world are developing and modernizing their own real-time payment systems. With their many benefits and convenience, real-time payments are becoming an increasingly popular option for both consumers and businesses alike.