The Growth of Real-Time Payments in Emerging Markets

Emerging markets around the globe are experiencing a seismic shift in their payment ecosystems, driven by the rapid adoption of real-time payment systems. These innovative platforms enable instant, secure, and convenient transactions, revolutionising the way businesses (and individuals) exchange funds. As real-time payments gain traction, they are not only accelerating financial inclusion but also fostering economic growth and empowerment across emerging economies.

Driving Financial Inclusion

One of the most significant impacts of real-time payments in emerging markets is the advancement of financial inclusion. In regions where access to traditional banking services is limited, real-time payment systems provide a lifeline, allowing unbanked and underbanked individuals to participate in the formal financial system. Mobile-based real-time payment solutions, in particular, have proven instrumental in reaching remote and underserved communities, empowering them with access to essential financial services such as remittances and peer-to-peer transfers.

Economic Empowerment and Growth

Real-time payments are catalysts for economic empowerment and growth in emerging markets. By facilitating faster and more efficient transactions, these systems stimulate economic activity, drive business growth, and foster entrepreneurship. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefit from improved cash flow management, while consumers enjoy greater convenience and flexibility in managing their finances. This increased economic activity contributes to job creation, poverty reduction, and overall socioeconomic development.

Government Initiatives and Policy Support

Governments and regulatory authorities in emerging markets are recognising the transformative potential of real-time payments and are taking proactive measures to support their adoption. Many countries have launched initiatives to modernise their payment infrastructures and promote interoperability among financial institutions and payment service providers. Regulatory frameworks are being updated to accommodate real-time payment systems, ensuring security, consumer protection, and compliance with international standards.

Fostering Innovation and Collaboration

Real-time payments are driving innovation and collaboration across the financial services ecosystem in emerging markets. Fintech start-ups, traditional banks, payment processors, and telecommunications companies are joining forces to develop innovative payment solutions tailored to the needs of local populations. Open banking initiatives and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are enabling ecosystem participants to create value-added services, further enhancing financial inclusion and customer experience.

Challenges and Opportunities

While the growth of real-time payments in emerging markets presents immense opportunities, it also comes with challenges. Issues such as fraud prevention and regulatory compliance require careful consideration and investment. Moreover, ensuring interoperability and standardisation across different payment systems and providers is essential to realize the full potential of real-time payments in driving financial inclusion and economic development.


The growth of real-time payments in emerging markets represents a transformative shift in the global financial landscape. By providing instant, secure, and inclusive payment solutions, these systems are empowering businesses to participate more actively in the digital economy. As real-time payments continue to expand and evolve, they will play a pivotal role in driving socioeconomic development, fostering innovation, and unlocking new opportunities for growth and prosperity in emerging markets around the world.

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