The boom in real-time payments is reverberating across the world, and by 2026 they will make up 25% of all electronic payments. Market forces and the global pandemic accelerated adoption to new levels, providing consumers and businesses cheaper, faster and more efficient ways to pay — and there’s no looking back.
And as more and more countries launch schemes often mandated by governments and regulators, transactions are set to rise further. But the success of real-time rails ultimately depends on the overlay services that these countries and their stakeholders develop.
While instant payments are increasingly embedded into non-financial digital apps and services to provide a more hyper-connected experience, modernising these payment processes depends on the decisions of individual financial institutions. To win in this expanding competitive landscape, many are now reinventing operating systems for a new real-time, cloud-first and data-centric business environment.
The fintech effect
As open banking matures and related innovations allow for direct connections to the payment rails, countries that allow and push an open banking system and take advantage of new market services are coming out on top when it comes to real-time-transaction volumes.
The 2022 report by ACI Worldwide and the Cebr, which looks at the growth and impact of real-time payments (RTP), reveals they can generate a tangible economic multiplier effect. The world’s five top RTP markets — India, China, Thailand, Brazil and South Korea — made 92.9bn real-time payments in 2021 which helped facilitate US$54.6bn of additional economic output; a figure forecast to climb to US$131.1bn in 2026.