Accelerating Real-Time Payments

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Kuala Lumpur, July 5:  Malaysia continues to accelerate the adoption of its real-time payment as well as introduce a stream of modern services, making it one of the most sophisticated real-time markets in the world, according to the third edition of Prime-Time for Real-Time 2022, published by ACI Worldwide, in partnership with GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).
According to the report, Malaysia’s real-time payments journey has been fast, distinctive, and sophisticated: encompassing speedy adoption built on low-value transactions, rapid evolution towards more sophisticated and value-added services, and a government determined to assist in driving adoption.
Much of the country’s success comes from a concerted effort by the government, central bank, national switch, and industry to modernise the country’s real-time payments infrastructure and harmonise the nation’s payments structure.

Malaysia Accelerating Real-Time Payments Evolution - New ACI Worldwide Report
Malaysia Accelerating Real-Time Payments Evolution – New ACI Worldwide Report

The report – tracking real-time payments volumes and growth across 53 countries – includes an economic impact study for the first time, providing a comprehensive 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 governments that advance the real-time modernization of their national payments infrastructure create a win-win situation for all stakeholders in the payments ecosystem: consumers and businesses benefit from fast, frictionless and hyper-connected payments services, and financial institutions future-proof their business in a highly 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.

Asia, ACI Worldwide, managing director, Leslie Choo. Supplied.
Asia, ACI Worldwide, managing director, Leslie Choo. Supplied.

Malaysia’s real-time journey began in December 2018, with the arrival of a new real-time payments system, DuitNow, introduced by the national payments network and central infrastructure provider, PayNet. The new, modernised system, built on the latest interoperable, global, and open payments messaging standard, ISO 20022 expanded basic real-time low-value account transfers to include transfers via mobile phones and ID numbers. It also supported online payments, in-store QR code-based payments, future-dated and recurring payments, and real-time cross-border payments with ASEAN.
Recent innovations have included consent management platforms for real-time debits, ‘DuitNow Request’. Future services include Know Your Customer (KYC) digital ID compatibility.
The report forecasts, that increasing consumer awareness, a growing preference for mobile payments, and the abundance of DuitNow services and features, will result in real-time payments volume growth of CAGR of 26.9 per cent from 2021-2026
“Malaysia is the perfect example for other ASEAN countries on how to establish, align, and drive adoption of a modern real-time payments network,”  Chee Cheng Ong, VP and Head of ASEAN, ACI Worldwide said.
“By opting to form its real-time network on ISO 20022, it is rapidly becoming one of the most harmonized and sophisticated real-time payment environments in the world – and a perfect launchpad to accelerate adoption as well as provide a host of new and value-added services.”
“Asia-Pacific remains at the forefront of real-time payments innovation as its real-time base pivots towards larger volume transactions and more sophisticated services for our businesses and consumers,” Leslie Choo, Managing Director of Asia-Pacific, ACI Worldwide said.
“The next stage of evolution for the region is to develop linkages to provide a truly pan-regional real-time infrastructure, unlocking much greater economic benefit and opening up the formal financial sector to the region’s vast unbanked and underbanked population.”

Chee Cheng Ong by Adrienne Battistella.

Other Highlights 


  • Recorded 1.1 billion real-time payments transactions in 2021, facilitating an estimated US$ 434 million cost savings for businesses and consumers, and unlocking US$ 364 million of additional economic output, equivalent to 1.11 per cent of GDP.
  • Fifth fastest-growing real-time market, globally, with a CAGR of 26.9 per cent: Malaysia is exceptional in the speed with which it has implemented nationwide real-time payments and its rapid adoption by banks and non-bank participants
  • Cebr forecasts real-time transactions to grow at 3.6 billion in 2026, a CAGR of 26.9 per cent, with net savings for consumers and businesses expected to reach US$ 637 million in 2026, generating additional economic output of US$ 954 million, or 0.2 per cent of GDP.


  • Dec 2021, saw the launch of the first nationwide real-time payments network, BI-FAST. By 2026, real-time transactions are forecast to reach 1.6 billion


  • Recorded real-time payments volumes of 9.7 billion and had the second-largest forecasted percentage increase in GDP (2.08 per cent) facilitated by real-time payments – globally


  • Real-time payment transactions hit 256 million and are forecast to reach 603 million in 2026, a CAGR of 18.7 per cent.

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