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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries around the globe are increasingly adopting real-time payments, says new yStats.com publication.

The latest publication of the Germany-based desk-research firm yStats.com, “2021 Key Trends of the Payment Industry: Global Real-Time Payments Market” gives insights about the increasing demand for real-time fund transfers and the reaction of the payment service providers in the USA, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America in 2020, as well as expectations of the future developments in the industry. The publication reveals that most countries increasingly update infrastructures for this type of payments amid the COVID-19 health crisis.

United States’ entrepreneurs are highly interested in implementing RTP

In 2020, the term “real-time payments” has been all over media and business discussions not only in the United States but around the globe. During the COVID-19 pandemic, more than eight in ten corporate business decision-makers in the US expected the instant payments to alter the way business operates in the near future, and an even a higher share of finance professionals planned to implement this type of payment processing by 2023, as detailed in the yStats.com publication.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Europe has set an objective to switch to real-time payments

According to figures cited in the new yStats.com report, alone, Western Europe is going to be one of the top markets regarding the adoption of real-time payments by 2025, with the value share being close to one-fifth of the world’s total. Currently, during the COVID-19 health crisis, in the European Union, about six in ten all SEPA payment service providers support real-time fund transfers, and the European Central Bank has set an objective to ensure the full deployment of real-time payments across the euro area by the end of 2021. Moreover, Northern Europe is going to become one of the main drivers of real-time payments in Europe, since in 2021 it is going to introduce its P27 system for Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, as well as for other Nordic countries later on. P27 is expected to unify several payment schemes, allowing for real-time and cross-border low-cost payments among the Nordic countries.

Asia is forecasted to grow rapidly in terms of real-time payments in the near future

The upward trend in the adoption of real-time payment solutions is expected to go by leaps and bounds in Asia, according to the yStats report. In Singapore, for instance, the share of immediate payments in the total value of transactions is expected to rise by close to ten percentage points annually through 2024. China, the largest economy in the region, is forecasted to increase the volumes of real-time transactions by about one-fifth each year by 2024. At the same time, currently developing Malaysia is forecasted to have even higher growth rates. Moreover, Sri Lanka has already accomplished to transfer most non-cash payments into its Real Time Gross Settlement System.

The Middle East still lags in the adoption of real-time payments, even with an accelerated global demand amid COVID-19

The payment industry in the Middle East has experienced significant improvements in recent years, and many countries of the region managed to introduce their own Real-Time Gross Settlement systems to the local consumers and institutions. However, despite considerably increasing global demand for payments in real-time amid the pandemic, the Middle East still lags. Many of the local “immediate” payment systems are only near real-time and lack some of the main features, such as Israel’s Zahav lacks 24/7 service availability.

The governments of the largest economies in LatAm actively encourage citizens to switch to the new real-time payment platforms

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the imposed restriction gave another impetus to digital payments in Latin America, as close to two-thirds of consumers surveyed in 13 countries of the region reported that they decreased cash usage amid the pandemic, as detailed in the yStats.com publication. With that, in November 2020, the Brazilian Central Bank introduced its real-time payment platform Pix. By the year 2030, payments via the Pix system are forecasted to constitute more than one-fifth of the total electronic payments in Brazil. Similarly, in Mexico, the Central Bank launched its mobile real-time payment platform CoDi in 2019. As of December 2020, the service has accumulated a substantial number of users, but only a small two-digit percentage of users actually have made or received fund transfers.