Australia and New Zealand look to new era in real-time payments

Chris Hill, Head of Pacific, ACI Worldwide

Australia and New Zealand are looking to a new era in real-time payments with a sense of rush to modernise as the region seeks to make ground on competitors, according to the 3rd edition of Prime Time for Real Time 2022, published by ACI Worldwide, in partnership with GlobalData, an analytics company, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

The report – tracking real-time payments volumes and growth across 53 countries – includes an economic impact study, providing a broad view of the economic benefits of real-time payments for consumers, businesses and the broader economy across 30 countries.

The report covers all G20 nations, excluding Russia.

The research shows that gov’ts that advance the real-time modernization of their national payments infrastructure create a win-win situation for all stakeholders in the ecosystem.

Consumers and businesses benefit from frictionless and hyper-connected payments services, financial institutions future-proof their business in a competitive environment by speeding up cloud-first and data-centric modernization, and national governments boost economic growth, reduce the size of their shadow economy and create a fairer financial system for all.

How did the ANZ fare?

These are the highlights Australia and New Zealand.


  • Real-time payments account for only 5.5% of total payments transaction volume with growth hindered by the country’s strong reliance and preference for card-based schemes.
  • In 2021, Australia recorded 970 million real-time transactions resulting in estimated cost savings of $205 million for businesses and consumers in 2021 – which helped to unlock $US932 million of additional economic output, representing 0.06% of the country’s GDP.
  • With real-time payments transaction numbers expected to rise to $2.4bn in 2026 – net savings for consumers and businesses are forecast to climb to $628m, generating an additional $1.4bn of economic output, equivalent to 0.07% of it’s forecasted GDP.

New Zealand

  • New Zealand has no formal real-time payments scheme. Electronic payments dominate the country’s payment space, occupying 59% of the total payments volume in 2021.
  • Covid identified and magnified gaps in the country’s payment infrastructure. In response, Payments New Zealand, the standards body set up by the leading banks, is coordinating the exploration of infrastructure options for the country’s first real-time payments scheme

What were the stakeholder thoughts on the study?

“Australia and New Zealand have a terrific opportunity to close the gap on its regional rivals and re-energise its economies post COVID,” said Chris Hill, Head of Pacific, ACI Worldwide.

“The region has all the practical elements for global success but making up ground in a world with constantly developing infrastructure and services will require concerted action, commitment, and coordination across governments and industry to reap the full benefits.”

“Real-time transactions and growth forecasts continue to rise, with countries like India leading the way and outpacing developed nations. Gov’ts that enable real-time schemes are driving economic growth and prosperity by providing consumers and businesses with faster, and more efficient payment methods,” said Jeremy Wilmot, CPO, ACI Worldwide.

“By allowing for the transfer of money between parties within seconds rather than days, real-time payments improve overall market efficiencies in the economy,” commented Owen Good, Head of Advisory, Centre for Economic and Business Research.

“Real-time payments improve liquidity in the financial system and therefore function as a catalyst for economic growth. This is important for our fast-paced and digital-led gig economies. Workers are paid quickly, allowing them to better plan their finances. Businesses have more flexibility and reduce the need for burdensome cashflow management.”

“Developing nations drive the majority of real-time volume gains, confirming the industry trend of the strongest growth coming from nations with minimal existing electronic payments infrastructure, and heavier reliance on cash,” said Sam Murrant, Lead Analyst, GlobalData.

“Amid all this activity, mobile in its multiple forms will shape the trajectory of real-time payments for developing markets. India provides the template for mobile wallet integration with underlying real-time payment systems. Mobile will still be the leading form factor in developed markets. However, we may see banks’ involvement sitting more behind wallets.”

How did the rest of the globe fare?

Prime Time Real Time Report 2022 – All Global Figures-at-a-Glance

GlobalData – Real-Time Payments Growth:

2021 2026
Real-time transactions made globally 118.3 billion 427.7 billion YoY growth
Five countries with the highest volume of real-time payment transactions India
48.6 billion
18.5 billion
9.7 billion
8.7 billion
South Korea
7.4 billion
CAGR 2021 – 2026
Top 5 fastest growing real-time markets (where instant payments share of all electronic payments was 10% in 2021) Brazil
Top fastest growth of real-time transactions by regions South & Central America
Middle East, Africa & South Asia
North America



Cebr Real-Time Economic Impact:

2021 2026
Aggregated net savings for consumers and businesses facilitated by real-time payments across the 30 countries observed US$46.6 billion US$184.0 billion
Formal GDP facilitated by real-time payments US$78.4 billion
(equivalent to 0.10% of the combined GDP of the 30 countries)
US$173.0 billion
(equivalent to 0.19% of the combined forecasted GDP of the 30 countries)
Global number of jobs required to produce an equivalent level of output 4.9 million jobs 10.3 million jobs
India, Brazil, China, Thailand, South Korea – business and consumer level benefits US$37.0 billion combined US$164.6 billion combined
India, Brazil, China, Thailand, South Korea – formal GDP supported by real-time: US$54.6 billion
(Equivalent to 0.23% of the combined GDP of the five countries, or the equivalent output of 4.2 million workers)
US$131.7 billion
(Equivalent to 0.43% of the combined forecasted GDP of the five countries, or the equivalent output of 9.0 million workers)
U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany – business and consumer level benefits US$2.1 billion combined US$5.5 billion combined
U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Germany – formal GDP supported by real-time: 7.3 billion
(Equivalent to 0.02% of the combined GDP of the five countries, or the equivalent output of 70.4 million workers)
13.9 billion
(Equivalent to 0.04% of the combined forecasted GDP of the five countries, or the equivalent output of 118.9 million workers)

GlobalData – Consumer Payments Modernization:

Over half of consumers worldwide now own and use a mobile wallet: 52.7 1%

up 12.1% in the two years since 2019 (Covid-19 impact), and up 33.8% since 2018

GlobalData – Fraud Trends

2020 2021
Cases of card details being stolen online are falling – 2021 saw a slight decrease in cases 17.5% 16.9%
Cases of card details being stolen or skimmed in person are also falling – 2021 saw a decrease in cases 15.5% 0.5%
Digital wallet account hacks, identity theft and social engineering cases are rising. Percentage of total fraud cases: 2020 2021
Digital wallet account hacks 6.2% 7.3%
Identity theft 11.6% 12.0%
Social engineering 13.7% 14.4%