New Data Shows Real-Time Payments Continue Rapid Global Advance

Real-time payments continue to gain global momentum in 2024. Two new national players joined the scene in March, and others are introducing significant advancements to their services.

Real-Time Payments in Qatar

46%: Proportion of global real-time payments that occur in IndiaLeading digital financial institution (FI) Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) recently introduced the Fawran instant payment service. Users can access the service through the QIB Mobile App. With a name derived from the Arabic word for “instantly” and backed by the Qatar Central Bank, the service enables instantaneous, round-the-clock transactions nationwide. Fawran employs alternative identifiers for account details, allowing customers to swiftly send and receive funds without requiring them to input the typical beneficiary details like account and routing numbers. Instead, users simply assign a unique name to each bank account to enable instant transfers.

Advancements in Moldova

The Eastern European nation of Moldova staked its claim with the launch of the MIA Instant Payment System. The new scheme, introduced by the National Bank of Moldova, is widely available across the country’s FIs. It allows users to make transfers anytime, anywhere in less than 15 seconds — without commissions in many cases. Users only need to provide a valid phone number to enable an instant transfer. So far, 10 banks and four payment institutions have implemented the MIA Instant Payment System.

Sweden Expands Real-Time Payments

15.6%: Projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of instant payments in Sweden through 2027Sweden is expanding its real-time payment capabilities by joining the Eurosystem’s TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS). This marks the first non-eurozone country to join. Unlike other participant countries, which must transact in euros, Sweden can leverage its own currency — the krona — for instant transactions. The technical linkage between the Swedish central bank, Sveriges Riksbank, and the TIPS platform was originally established in May 2022. The system has become operational in recent weeks. Currently, 11 payment service providers can transfer funds via TIPS, with more expected soon.

Innovations in Mexico

Real-time payments in Mexico are taking a significant leap forward with the introduction of a new account-to-account payments product by Uruguayan Fintech Prometeo. This innovative system employs a single application programming interface (API) to enable instantaneous payments directly to a bank account, granting businesses immediate access to collections — without requiring major technical overhauls. Moreover, because the system is integrated with Mexico’s central bank, it is accessible to all banks in the country. According to Prometeo, its account-to-account solution reduces payment times to just 40 seconds with fewer than five clicks from the end user, surpassing the efficiency of current market offerings.

40 sec.: Transaction time for real-time payments processed in Mexico via Prometeo’s account-to-account solutionReal-Time Payments Expansion in India

Finally, India plans to expand its real-time payments functionality by establishing interoperability of digital payment systems for internet banking. This launch is expected later this year. This move aims to facilitate faster fund settlements for merchants. Currently, internet transactions processed through payment aggregators (PAs) are not interoperable, as banks must integrate separately with each PA for different online merchant partners. This requirement has proven difficult for bank staff to manage, especially considering the vast number of merchant partners each bank has. Additionally, the absence of standardized payment systems and rules for each PA contributes to payment delays and increased security risks, issues the interoperability initiative intends to solve.

The coming weeks and months promise to be exciting times for instant transactions across various sectors. The ongoing demand for instant payments is fueling their expansion worldwide.

About the Real-Time Payments World Map

The “Real-Time Payments World Map,” a collaboration with The Clearing House, describes how growing demand drives the rapid expansion of instant transactions worldwide.