Instant payments could save UK companies over £1bn, report finds

A report by ACI Worldwide and the Centre for Economic and Business Research has claimed £1.3bn could be made in cost savings by UK firms through instant payments.

The report titled Prime Time for Real Time found that this saving could help to generate an additional £2.6bn in economic output, which is equivalent to 0.11% of formal GDP.

ACI found that real-time payments in 2021 resulted in £730m in cost savings for businesses and consumers in the UK – which helped unlock £2.2bn in additional economic output.

According to the report, emerging economies and outpacing developed nations when it comes to real-time growth and the associated economic benefits.

During 2021, 92.9 billion real-time payments were made across the top five real-time payments markets of India, China, Thailand, Brazil and South Korea – which are forecast to grow to 356.9 billion by 2026. The combined real-time volume helped facilitate £41.9bn of additional economic output across these five countries in 2021 and is forecast to climb to £100.7bn in 2026.

Meanwhile, leading developed countries such as the US, the UK, Canada, France and Germany are lagging behind and are losing out on economic growth. Up to now, 7.5 billion real-time payments were made across these countries in 2021 and is forecast to grow 20.9 billion by 2026.

In addition, real-time payments accounted for 13.8% of total global electronic payments in 2021 and is forecast to rise to 25.6% in 2026. In the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, real-time payments are forecast to account for 80% of all electronic payments by 2026.

ACI Worldwide CEO and president Odilon Almeida said, “As our research reveals, modern economies depend on real-time payments to boost economic growth, prosperity and financial inclusion, with central governments worldwide being the primary enabler of these systems. The challenge for financial institutions worldwide is to leverage the new payment rails and maximize their value for the benefit of their customers. Banks must reinvent their mission-critical operating systems to compete in the new real-time, cloud-first and data-centric business environment. Inaction is not an option as broad-based disruption of the sector has moved beyond a tipping point.”

ACI Worldwide CPO Jeremy Wilmot said, “One of the big themes in this year’s report is the cloud as the great enabler of real-time success and new, differentiated payments experiences. As an industry, we are still only scratching the surface of the cloud’s potential. As other industries have already shown, and as this report confirms, it is increasingly clear that banks and financial institutions with designs on winning with payments in the digital real-time economy need to be cloud first and data centric.”

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