Payments Blog • 6 MIN READ

The Real-Time Payments revolution continues

Global real-time payments systems continue to evolve rapidly, driven by collaboration between public and private sector stakeholders, technological innovation, and evolving customer expectations.

As real-time payment infrastructures become more widespread and integrated into everyday financial transactions, it’s transforming the way payments are made, received, and settled.

This is providing benefits in terms of speed and efficiency, as well as convenience for consumers, businesses, and financial institutions.

Here’s how the real-time payments landscape looks as we head towards the half-way point in 2024.

In the USA

In direct response to the demand for faster and more convenient payment options, the US Federal Reserve has joined nations like Mexico, India, Brazil, Singapore, and the EU, in fostering momentum toward facilitating immediate payments and transactions, with the rollout of its FedNow system.

What FedNow means for Fintechs

While FedNow is currently only available to banks, The Federal Reserve is recognizing the importance of involving Fintechs and core providers in the future expansion of its new system.

With the FedNow’s data-rich capabilities, Fintechs can help the Federal Reserve to provide enhanced services. However, due to a congressional mandate, the Federal Reserve is not permitting Fintechs access to FedNow at the moment, but that will likely change in the near future.

Until then, Fintechs will continue to work on overlaying technology into other legacy systems still present within banks.

Fintechs themselves will also reap great benefits from the FedNow program, allowing faster payments at a lower cost to consumers, and developing innovative payment solutions for evolving customer needs and preferences.

Current bank participation

Since its launch in July 2023, the FedNow Service has progressed strongly through 2024, with around 600 institutions participating as senders or receivers on the network.

The institutions reflect a diverse range of banks and credit unions with headquarters in over 45 U.S. states, and ranging in size from under $500 million to more than $3 trillion in assets.

In Brazil

In 2020, the Brazilian Central Bank created an instant payments system called Pix, which has become the country’s preferred way to pay - even overshadowing the dominance of credit cards.

In 2023, use of Pix surged 74% to nearly 42 billion payments across the Brazilian economy. This surpassed credit and debit payments combined, by about 23%, according to central bank data and industry group ABEC Brasil.

Pix is a fine testament to the success of instant payment systems, causing a monumental shift in the Brazilian payments industry as it requires no intermediaries such as card schemes, acquirers, or issuers to operate.

Consumers and retailers are realizing the benefits of Pix over credit cards. Transaction fees for Pix cost an average 0.22% of each transaction for retailers, whereas debit card fees run over 1% and credit card fees can reach 2.2% of each sale in Brazil, according to a Bank of International Settlements (BIS) paper.


Asia Pacific continues its steady growth trajectory in the RTP market.

Currently, Asia Pacific (APAC) is leading the world in the real-time payments market, with 185.8 billion transactions in 2023, representing 24.0% of all electronic payments in the region.

With four of the top five real-time payments markets by volume, the APAC region is projected to see over 351.5 billion real-time transactions by 2028, a 5 year CAGR of 13.6%.

With several payments initiatives, including live RTP cross-border integrations among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the latest milestone is the launch of cross-border QR code payments between Indonesia and Malaysia in 2024.

This increase in cross-border RTP linkages opens doors to new business opportunities and enhanced trade by providing faster, cheaper, more transparent, and inclusive cross-border payments.

With international travel fully restored, these payment linkages are expected to provide travelers with a more convenient way to pay, with benefits to both tourism and retail sectors.

In Sweden

Sweden has become the first non-euro region to join the European Central Bank’s Target Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS)program with its national currency.

TIPS is designed as a multicurrency platform, currently offering instant payments settlement in two currencies: the euro and the Swedish krona.

The onboarding of Sweden looks set to pave the way for other non-euro countries that have also expressed interest in joining TIPS, such as Denmark and Norway.

In Europe

The European instant payment landscape is transforming dramatically, as new regulations on instant payments came into force in February 2024.

Europe’s instant payments system, SEPA instant credit transfers (SCT Inst), encompass euro transfers within the 34 countries of the Single Euro Payments Area.

With the new regulations, financial institutions must:

  • Be ready to receive and send instant payments with a 10 second turnaround, and charge no more for the service than non-instant payments.
  • Provide a 24 x 7 x 365 service through any incoming channel such as mobile banking, and provide support for bulk payments.
  • Deploy stringent fraud management including daily sanctions screening and payee verification.

In Australia

Australia was one of the early adopters of contactless payment technology and has also embraced the faster payments trend. It launched the New Payments Platform (NPP) which allows consumers and businesses to make near real-time payments on a 24/7 basis.

While Australia is not at the same growth level as some other countries, even small merchants already accept faster electronic payments, so the need for real-time payments is not the same as other markets like India and Brazil.


Key Takeaways

  • In 2023, just under one-fifth of all electronic payments globally were real-time. By 2028 it will be more than one-quarter.
  • Real-time payments are an integral part of the global payments mix, with more markets acknowledging them as a cornerstone for strategies targeting financial inclusion and economic advancement.
  • Real-time payments are becoming a catalyst for increasing collaboration between governments, regulators, banks, and Fintechs.
  • The landscape will continue to evolve in response to technological advancements, consumer demand, and governmental influence.

Topics: Payments Transact Transaction analytics Real time

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