Cebr was commissioned by ACI Worldwide to conduct research into the economic impact of real-time payments, across a sample of thirty major global economies. Real-time payments have the potential to revolutionise the way that funds are circulated across the economy by delivering payments near instantaneously, subsequently promoting economic growth, efficiency, and productivity improvements.
The report estimates the net efficiency savings to both businesses and consumers from the adoption of real-time payments in each country, alongside the wider associated macroeconomic benefits. This is covered through two distinct lenses. Firstly, we estimated the realised benefits in each country for each country, based on 2021 and forecasted 2026 real-time adoption rates. Secondly, we hypothesised the scale of the additional untapped benefits that would be attainable if all payments took place instantaneously.
Some of the key findings from the report are:
- In 2021, $78.4 billion of GDP was supported by real-time payments across the 30 countries observed.
- In 2026, we estimate that $173 billion of GDP will be supported by real-time payments across the 30 countries observed.
- The leading five real-time markets are India, Brazil, China, Thailand and South Korea. Across the five, total business and consumer level benefits totalled $37.0 billion in 2021, while $56.4 billion in GDP was supported. This is forecast to rise to $131 billion by 2026.
- In China alone, real-time payments supported $18.7 billion in economic output in 2021.
By allowing for the transfer of money between parties within seconds rather than days, real-time payments improve overall market efficiencies in the economy. In terms of the opportunities for real-time payments, there is huge potential to accelerate financial inclusion: they are important in providing flexibility within the digitally led gig economy, and can directly alleviate cash flow and liquidity issues as highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cebr is an independent London-based economic consultancy specialising in economic impact assessment, macroeconomic forecasting and thought leadership. For more information on this report, or if you are interested in commissioning research with Cebr, please contact us using our enquiries page.