Real-Time Payments or “RTP” refers to payment methods, platforms or networks, initiating payments in a real-time, clearing, and settling in a matter of seconds and available 24/7.  RTP is also “Open-loop”, which means the payments are connected directly to a personal account, rather than relying on a prepaid balance. 

Real-time payments are becoming increasingly common. A speeding up of the management and execution of real-time payment systems is yet another rippling consequence of the pandemic-driven expansion of online transactions. The massive expanding potential for RTP that financial institutions may make use of to gain a competitive edge.

In 2020, Asia-Pacific will be the most popular region for this relatively close method of payment, including India, China, South Korea, and Thailand accounting for the majority of payments. 

According to recent data from ACI Worldwide and YouGov, nearly two-thirds of purchasers (61%) in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore prefer real-time payments as a preferred payment method in 2021, at the same percentage of cash (61%) and greater than some other payment types, such as mobile wallets demanding cash or card top-ups (56%) and credit cards (30%).

From the graph, we can see that India has the highest usage of the method followed by China. Other countries that use this payment method include UK, Nigeria, Japan, Brazil, the US, and Mexico. 

Ever since the start of COVID-19, a third (30%) of the customers in Southeast Asia significantly decreased their use of traditional forms of payment such as credit cards and debit cards. As an outcome, upwards of half of those surveyed (53%) now use real-time transactions more frequently than they did before the pandemic.