More than 70.3 billion real-time payments transactions were processed globally in 2020, a surge of 41 percent compared to the previous year, as the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically accelerated trends away from cash and cheques towards greater reliance on real-time and digital payments, a new global report from ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW) and GlobalData reveals. The second installment of ‘Prime-Time for Real-Time,’ first launched in 2020, analyses global real-time, account-to-account payment volumes and forecasts across 48 global markets. It projects a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for real-time payments of 23.6 percent from 2020 to 2025.
According to the report, India retains the top spot with 25.5 bn real-time payments transactions, followed by China with 15.7 bn transactions. In 2020, the transaction volume share in India stood at 15.6 percent and 22.9 percent for instant payments and other electronic payments respectively, while paper-based payments had a considerable share of 61.4 percent. This is poised to change by 2025 where share of volume by instant payments and other electronic payments is expected to rise to 37.1 percent and 34.6 percent respectively, leaving the volume of paper-based transactions at 28.3 percent. Furthermore, by 2024 the share of real time payments volume in overall electronic transactions will exceed 50 percent, according to the report.
“India’s journey of creating a digital financial infrastructure has been characterised by collaboration between the government, the regulator, banks and fintechs. This has helped to advance the country’s goal of enabling financial inclusion and also provided rapid payments digitisation for citizens. The pandemic has further accelerated adoption of digital payments with many first time users adopting digital payments and significant uplift by merchants,” said Kaushik Roy, VP and head of product management, Asia, ME and Africa, ACI Worldwide. “As the industry evolves, we expect to see increased adoption across different users and volume growth driven by mass adoption, recurring payments, transit payments as well as cross-border transactions.”