Real-time payments on the rise amid pandemic

Real-time payments on the rise amid pandemic

Thailand is ranked fourth in the world after booking 5.24 billion electronic account-to-account payment transactions last year, known as real-time payments, says ACI Worldwide, a global real-time payment solution provider, in cooperation with data analytics provider GlobalData.

The amount was more than double the 2.57 billion transactions made in 2019, according to the "prime-time for real-time" report by ACI, which analysed global real-time, account-to-account payment volumes and forecasts across 48 global markets.

Last year, India reported 25.5 billion real-time payment transactions, China saw 15.7 billion transactions, and South Korea had 6 billion.

The firm said the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for real-time payments in Thailand has been forecast to grow 32% from 2020 to 2025, which is higher than the global projected CAGR of 23.6%. By 2025, real-time payments in Thailand are expected to reach 21 billion transactions.

According to the report, the value of real-time transactions in Thailand surged 62.9% year-on-year to US$717 billion (22.3 trillion baht) in 2020 with an expected CAGR of 26.69% from 2020-2025.

Mobile wallet adoption also rose to 83.9%, up from 72.6% a year before.

ACI indicated that real-time payments in Thailand have seen explosive growth as the Bank of Thailand is promoting financial inclusion by leveraging real-time payments to deliver benefits to people.

Meanwhile, the pandemic has also caused changes in consumer behaviour with banks, merchants, and intermediaries responding rapidly by shifting to digital to protect revenue streams, the company said.

"The pandemic has cast the spotlight on the importance of digital payments and robust payment infrastructures, condensing a decade of anticipated innovation into one year and creating human behavioural changes that will not reverse as we emerge from the crisis," said Jeremy Wilmot, chief product officer at ACI Worldwide.

"Countries with a robust digital payments infrastructure already in place have coped better than those without it when it comes to containing the economic impact of the pandemic," he said.

He said real-time payments are vital to enable governments, working with financial institutes, to speed up disbursements and provide economic stimulus payments to citizens.

Globally, real time-transactions in 2020 reached 70.3 billion, a yearly rise of 41%. The value of real-time transactions also rose by 32.8% year-on-year to $92 trillion. The expected CAGR by 2025 is 12%.

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