2021 Key Trends of the Payment Industry: Real-Time Payments in the Middle East and Africa

2021 Key Trends of the Payment Industry: Real-Time Payments in the Middle East and Africa

  • January 2021 •
  • 46 pages •
  • Report ID: 6010417 •
  • Format: PDF
Amid COVID-19, governments in the Middle East and Africa are rapidly developing infrastructures for real-time payments

The real-time payment systems of the Middle East region still have room for improvement

According to figures cited in the new report, in general, the Middle East has been growing in terms of values and volumes of payments via the local Real-Time payment systems during 2020. Nevertheless, many of their solutions are still only near real-time, and some, like Israel’s Zahav, are not available 24/7. Nevertheless, the lockdown, in the first half of 2020 brought significant positive changes in the number and values of the near real-time transactions for some countries and the year-on-year growth rates went sharply up. That was true, for instance, for the UAE’s Immediate Payment (IP) system, which was launched in 2019. Another example is Egypt, which experienced unusually high numbers at the beginning of the lockdown, with the growth rates sharply decreasing towards the end of 2020.

During the health crisis, some Middle Easter and African countries saw a rapid surge in real-time payments, however, some still lag

Apart from South Africa, the manifested leader in the African payment industry, some other economies in the regions have been showing positive numbers in transfers via the Real-Time Gross Settlement systems. For example, in November 2020, Namibia surpassed South Africa in terms of value per transaction made through SADC, the regional cross-border RTGS for Southern African countries. Furthermore, Ghana’s real-time payment solution GhIPSS Instant Pay (GIP) experienced an almost six-fold rise in transaction volume year-on-year during the first half of 2020. Nigeria was yet another example of a considerable rate of real-time payments adoption as payment volume via the RTGS was about half of the total E-Payments between January and August 2020.

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