Real-Time Payments: How Adoption Differs Globally 


The real-time payments landscape is different depending on where you look. Regions in Asia-Pacific have been making strides for some time now, looping in government involvement to bolster engagement and increase adoption. In other areas of the world, such as the U.S., adoption isn’t as prevalent. At least not yet.  

ACI Worldwide’s latest “It’s Prime Time for Real-Time 2023” report, looks at the countries that have experienced widespread real-time payments adoption, and highlights use cases and even collaborations at the industry level, that have further facilitated adoption.  

Craig Ramsey, Global Head of Real-Time Payments and Banking, ACI Worldwide said: 

“This year’s report highlights how consumer and business adoption of real-time payments accelerates when the conditions are right. The countries at the top of our league table—Bahrain, Brazil and Thailand—are all relatively recent enablers of real-time payments. 

“Concerted industry collaboration and government mandates, widespread merchant adoption, strong brand recognition for a scheme, and related services, such as digital wallets, have provided the perfect combination for strong growth in these markets.” 

APAC Leads the Way  

The APAC (Asia-Pacific) region is one of the most innovative regions to watch for in the real-time payments landscape. The ubiquitous use of mobile-centered experiences, as well as QR-code payments, are driving massive adoption.  

Transaction volumes for real-time payments are projected to grow from 49.2 billion in 2022 to 96.7 billion by 2027. Growth is accelerating across several regions, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Australia. What’s more, Indonesia is the latest country to join the fold in adopting real-time payments. 

Governments and central banks in APAC have been instrumental in driving up adoption. In fact, Malaysia and Indonesia have been spurring the advancement and adoption of real-time payments and digital payments. For example, according to a Deloitte report, the Indonesian government released two sets of regulations: Operation of Electronic System and Tranaction and Trading Through Electronic System. Both regulations ensure the stimulation of growth of the digital payments market within Indonesia.  

The Malaysian government’s Short-Term National Economic Recovery Plan was created to boost the percentage of both electronic and mobile payments for offline goods and services througout the country. 

FedNow As a Catalyst for Real-Time Payments Growth 

According to the ACI Worldwide report, real-time payments in the U.S. makes up a small piece in the overall payments scheme, having only a 1.2% portion of the total payments volume for 2022. 

However, with the upcoming launch of FedNow in July 2023, it’s anticipated that a resurgence of real-time payments activity will follow closely behind.  


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