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Global real-time payments surge by 41 percent in 2020, ACI Worldwide research reveals

Monday 29 March 2021 12:35 CET | News

A report from ACI Worldwide and GlobalData has revealed that more than 70.3 billion real-time payments transactions were processed globally in 2020, a surge of 41% compared to the previous year.

According to the press release, the second installment of ‘Prime-Time for Real-Time,’ first launched in 2020, and analyses global real-time, account-to-account payment volumes, and forecasts across 48 global markets. Furthermore, with millions of people globally having to change the way they work and live – and the way they shop and pay – mobile wallet adoption rose to an historic high of 46% in 2020, up from 40.6% in 2019, and 18.9% in 2018. 

Summary of key findings regarding global real-time payments growth:

  • Total number of real-time transactions in 2020 was 70.3 billion, up 41% from 50.0 billion in 2019.

  • The real-time share of global electronic transactions in 2020 was 9.8%, up from 7.6% in 2019; it is predicted to be 17.4% by 2025.

  • The value of real-time transactions was up by 32.8% from 2019, rising from USD 69 trillion to USD 92 trillion; the expected CAGR by 2025 is 12%.

Top 10 countries globally by number of real-time transactions in 2020:

  • India retains the top spot with 25.5 billion real-time payments transactions, followed by China with 15.7 billion transactions; South Korea is in 3rd place with 6.0 billion, Thailand 4th with 5.2 billion and the UK is in 5th place with 2.8 billion.

  • Nigeria follows in 6th place with 1.9 billion transactions, Japan in 7th with 1.7 billion.

  • Brazil climbs into the global top 10 at 8th with the launch of PIX, with 1.3 billion transactions driving a 58% YoY increase from 2019 to 2020. Expect to see the country climbing even higher next year with a 5-year growth prediction of 25.3% CAGR.

  • The US ranks 9th with 1.2 billion transactions and Mexico ranks 10th with 942 million.

Fastest growing countries for real-time payments:

  • The top spot goes to Croatia with an expected CAGR of 374.4% between 2020 and 2025, followed by Colombia (112.7%), Malaysia (83.9%), Peru (74.4%) and Finland (71.4%).

  • The highest growth region (CAGR 2020-2025) is predicted to be North America (36.5%), as both Canada and the US modernise and drive their new real-time systems (RTR and FedNow).

Global mobile wallet adoption:

  • Mobile wallet adoption rose to an historic high of 46% in 2020, up from 40.6% in 2019 and 18.9% in 2018.

  • Total mobile wallet transactions amounted to 102.7 billion in 2020 and are expected to reach 2,582.8 billion by 2025.

Payments fraud:

  • Globally, card-related fraud remains highest in terms of reported incidents from consumers, but fraud incidents associated with real-time payments were on the rise from 2019 to 2020 as fraudsters tend to target new channels.

  • Real-time payments scams that were on the rise include: confidence tricks (12.5% of all fraud instances in 2019, rising to 13.7% in 2020), identity theft (6% rising to 11.6%) and digital wallet account hacks (4.4% rising to 6.2%).


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Keywords: ACI Worldwide, GlobalData, research, report, real-time payments, mobile payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce | Mobile Payments
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce