With SWIFT gpi bringing transparency and speed to the world of instant payments, it is pertinent to examine the difference in take-up between European and Asian banks. Also important is understanding what this level of ‘instantaneity’ means for the future of corporate treasury management.
Instant payments are a new reality in many countries and their adoption has accelerated over the past few years, particularly in Europe where SEPA Instant Credit Transfers (SCT Inst) already account for 8% of SEPA volumes. In 2020, RT1 recorded almost a doubling of the SCT Inst with an average transaction amount of €576.
This growth is steady and analysts foresee that, within a couple of years, one in two payments in Europe could be instant, with the majority being in the retail environment. In Spain, they already account for about a third of all credit transfers, with 1m instant payments processed daily. Other leading countries in terms of volumes include Italy, Belgium, where SCT Inst represents almost 15% of volumes, and France, which has a monthly volume of 5m payments. In the Asia-Pacific region, where instant payment methods are also extremely popular, the numbers are even more striking. In India, for example, more than 1 billion instant payments are made a year.