Deployments of real-time payment systems are surging worldwide, according to new research from FIS, a global leader in financial services technology.

In its fifth annual Flavors of Fast report, FIS identified 40 active real-time payment programs around the world, up from 25 in 2017 and nearly three times as many as the company’s inaugural 2014 study. Further, the report identified five payments programs under development, and another 16 expected to be live in the next 12-18 months – double the number of programs on the radar in 2017.

“We live in a now world. Consumers are demanding more transparency, certainty and immediacy when moving their money, and they won’t settle for incremental innovation,” said Raja Gopalakrishnan, head of Global Payments, FIS. “Financial institutions are responding in growing numbers – modernising their payment infrastructures to provide real-time payment capabilities that demonstrate their value to customers.”

The FIS research found that overlay services – chat, retail apps, instant loans and more – and open APIs (application program interfaces) provide innovations that encourage consumers and businesses to use real-time payments.

“The growth of real-time payments programs around the world speaks to consumer demand and the rapid innovation that exists today,” said Gareth Lodge, senior analyst, Celent. “Real time payments is a competitive differentiator for the bank that gets it right.”

“The wholesale reinvention of UK Faster Payments promises to deliver strong growth beyond the financial sector as many diverse industry sectors will benefit from a more open banking environment coupled with real-time payments.” Said Andrew Hewitt, senior payment solutions consultant, FIS Global.

“Overlay services will be a true game changer in this context, as consumers quickly become accustomed to the kind of user experiences for which instant payments are essential. However, banks still need to ensure that there is resilience in in the system to ensure that the payment infrastructure runs smoothly,” Hewitt added.

The FIS report also calls out Germany and Hong Kong as two countries poised to make significant strides forward in implementation of real-time payments schemes.

by Alex Hamilton
Alex is Senior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: