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May 13, 2022

Real-time payments are driving savings across Asia-Pacific

Arnie Cho, senior analyst, Payments, GlobalData, examines the potential for cost savings and efficiency of real-time payments systems

Asia-Pacific markets have been quick to develop real-time payment (RTP) systems. The benefits of RTP will only grow over the next few years – especially when the RTP networks of individual countries in the region are connected.

According to a GlobalData study on RTP titled Prime-Time for Real-Time 2022 published by ACI Worldwide, RTP payments contributed to savings of $1.8bn across the Asia-Pacific region in 2021 due to reduced costs and increased efficiency. Meanwhile, the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimates that RTP will help boost the Singaporean economy by an additional 0.15% by 2026.

The benefits are clear for both consumers and merchants. For consumers, RTP means payments and transfers that used to take days are cleared almost instantly. For businesses, RTP helps them receive money earlier (even if it takes a few days), which provides liquidity to engage in further business activities.

Based on the GlobalData study, Asian markets already boast the highest RTP usage in the world. As RTP develops in Asia-Pacific, the region is looking to the next step: linking up the various RTP systems across the region.

As part of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, countries in the region are aiming to advance cross-border interoperability and to connect their RTP systems into a regional network.

At present, cross-border remittance fees are as high as 6% of the transaction value using traditional methods. An interoperable regional RTP network could significantly reduce such costs, which would help boost cross-border ecommerce.

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