Real-time payments have become increasingly popular in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, with a projected Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.7% between 2022-2027, according to Mordor Intelligence.
The pandemic played a major role in driving the adoption of digital payments and mobile banking in the region, with 93% of Middle Eastern consumers reportedly increasing their use of these methods during the pandemic, as per the Kaspersky Digital Payment Survey.
In this blog, I’ll dig deeper into the trends that are driving adoption and change in the MEA region. There are three key drivers are enabling and accelerating adoption in the region, including:
- Request-to-pay services that allow for new revenue streams and enable businesses to offer innovative payment solutions to their customers.
- Central mandates that promote the adoption of real-time payment solutions by banks and financial institutions.
- The cloud, which provides the necessary infrastructure to support real-time payment processing and enables businesses to scale their operations quickly and efficiently.
Increased customer convenience
Real-time payments are rapidly gaining popularity in the MEA region, driven by several factors. One of the key factors is the increasing convenience offered by banks and e-commerce websites to their customers.
With the widespread adoption of smartphones, customers now expect faster and more efficient payment options, leading to the growth of real-time payments in the region. This includes request-to-pay services, which businesses can leverage to optimize cash flow, reduce payment delays and streamline payment processes.
UAE real-time payments adoption
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is expected to hold the largest market share of real-time payments in the MEA region, owing to its strong digital infrastructure and growing adoption of real-time payment solutions.
The UAE government has launched several initiatives to encourage the adoption of digital payments, including the implementation of a national payment system, UAEFTS.
Real-time payments are also expected to underpin economic growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, with potential cost savings of up to $246 million, according to Gulf Business.
UAE instant payment platform
The UAE is also set to launch an instant payment platform that could revolutionize transactions in the region.
According to Fast Company ME, the platform will offer customers a way to send and receive payments in real-time through their mobile devices, with the potential to drive economic growth in the region.
The platform is called the "Instant Payment Platform” (IPP). The system will allow customers to make real-time transactions using their mobile devices, with no limit on the transaction amount. The system will operate 24/7 and will be available to both individuals and businesses. The UAE has made it mandatory for all banks to implement the platform.
The IPP is expected to have a significant impact on the UAE's economy, enabling faster and more efficient transactions, reducing costs, and improving financial inclusion. It will also support the UAE's vision of becoming a cashless society, as it will make it easier for people to make digital transactions and reduce the reliance on cash. The system is expected to be a game-changer for the UAE's payments landscape, providing customers with a fast, secure, and convenient way to make transactions and driving economic growth in the region.
Cloud-based payment systems
The advent of cloud technology has enabled real-time payments to become a reality in the MEA region. Cloud-based payment systems have allowed banks and financial institutions to process transactions quickly and efficiently, while also ensuring secure and reliable payment processing.
With cloud-based systems, banks can offer real-time payments to their customers, allowing them to send and receive money instantly, regardless of the time or location.
Furthermore, the cloud has enabled financial institutions to scale their payment infrastructure to meet growing demand, while also reducing costs and improving system resilience.
As a result, real-time payments have become an essential part of the Middle East's financial ecosystem, facilitating faster and more efficient transactions for individuals, businesses, and governments alike.
Overall, the MEA real-time payments market is experiencing strong growth, driven by the convenience and efficiency of digital payments and mobile banking.
The region's adoption of real-time payments is expected to continue to grow, fuelled by the increasing penetration of smartphones, central mandates, request-to-pay services, and the cloud.
How IR Transact can help
With IR Transact, you can simplify the complexity of managing your entire real-time payments environment. IR Transact helps capture the right data, that delivers deep real time visibility, making it easier to track performance of ecosystems, and turning that transaction data into actionable insights.
Discover more about what IR Transact can do for your business and contact us today.