Real-time payments (RTPs) have become increasingly popular in recent years as businesses and individuals seek quick, easy, and low-cost transactions. However, the expansion of RTPs has been limited by national boundaries, making it challenging to create a global network. To address this issue, it is crucial to establish links between countries to improve access to instant and secure payments.

The global demand for RTPs has been growing rapidly, with 195 billion RTP transactions recorded in 2022 across more than 70 countries. Projections suggest that this number will reach 511.7 billion transactions by 2027. Countries like the US and India have already made significant strides in implementing RTP services, with India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) expected to contribute significantly to the country’s GDP by 2026.

While RTPs offer many benefits such as lower costs, faster transactions, and enhanced security, the lack of international connectivity remains a challenge. Most RTP schemes were developed with a domestic focus, making cross-border transactions complex and inefficient. However, there are some successful examples of cross-border RTP integration, such as the partnership between India’s UPI and Singapore’s PayNow, which has facilitated over $1 billion in cross-border payments.

Expanding cross-border RTP connections could have a significant impact on the financial landscape by fostering competition, driving innovation, and improving transaction efficiency. Large enterprises stand to benefit from streamlined operations, reduced complexity in international transactions, and improved relationships with international partners and suppliers. Additionally, the security protocols and transparency of RTP systems offer protection against fraud and financial crime.

Integrating RTP networks on a global scale presents a significant challenge, but companies like Thunes have made progress in connecting different RTPs through a unified API. Collaboration between payment services, regulatory bodies, and financial institutions will be essential to overcome barriers to cross-border RTP integration. Expanding RTP connectivity to support business payments is also crucial for unlocking growth opportunities worldwide.

Overall, connecting RTP networks globally has the potential to revolutionize the payments industry by enabling quick, low-cost, and seamless transactions on a global scale. This shift towards interoperability across borders will not only benefit businesses and individuals but also contribute to a more inclusive financial ecosystem.