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Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market By Nature of Payment (Person-to-Person, Person-to-Business, Business-to-Person); By Component (Solutions [Payment Gateway, Payment Processing, Payment Security and Fraud Management], Services [Professional, Managed]); By Deployment Mode (On-premises, Cloud); By Enterprise Size (SMEs, Large Enterprises); By Vertical (BFSI, IT and Telecommunications, Retail and e-commerce, Government, Energy and Utilities); By Region (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria, Rest of MEA) – Growth, Share, Opportunities & Competitive Analysis, 2024 – 2032

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Published: | Report ID: 35770 | Report Format : PDF
REPORT ATTRIBUTE DETAILS
Historical Period  2019-2022
Base Year  2023
Forecast Period  2024-2032
Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market Size 2023  USD 29,747.68 million
Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market, CAGR  9.76%
Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market Size 2032  USD 69,432.91 million

Market Overview

The Middle East and Africa Real Time Payments Market witnessed substantial growth from USD 29,747.68 million in 2023 to USD 69,432.91 million by 2032, reflecting an impressive CAGR of 9.76%. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is currently experiencing a profound shift in its financial landscape, largely catalyzed by the advent of real-time payment solutions. Real-time payments, known for their instantaneous processing and settlement capabilities, have emerged as a fundamental pillar of modern financial ecosystems, offering unparalleled efficiency, convenience, and security to businesses and consumers alike. Within this dynamic environment, the Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market have emerged as pivotal sectors, demonstrating robust growth and adaptability to meet the evolving demands of the digital age.

Propelled by various factors, including the widespread proliferation of smartphones, increased internet penetration, regulatory initiatives promoting financial inclusion, and the burgeoning e-commerce sector, the MEA Real-Time Payments Market is witnessing a surge in demand for faster, more secure, and more convenient payment methods across various industries. This surge in demand spans sectors such as retail, banking, healthcare, and government, highlighting the broad applicability and utility of real-time payment solutions in diverse contexts. Amidst this growth, the Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market boasts a competitive landscape characterized by established players, emerging startups, and innovative fintech companies vying to capture a larger market share. Leading players are actively investing in research and development to enhance their product offerings, expand their geographical presence, and gain a competitive edge.

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Segmentation Analysis

By nature of payment:

The Middle East and Africa The real-time payments market can be analyzed based on the nature of payment transactions, encompassing person-to-person (P2P), person-to-business (P2B), and business-to-person (B2P) payments. P2P transactions facilitate direct payments between individuals, such as peer-to-peer transfers or splitting bills. P2B payments involve transactions from individuals to businesses, covering activities like bill payments or online purchases. Conversely, B2P transactions denote payments from businesses to individuals, including salaries, refunds, or rewards. Understanding these payment dynamics is crucial for stakeholders to tailor solutions that cater to the diverse needs of both consumers and businesses.

By Component:

The market segmentation also delves into the components of real-time payment solutions, comprising solutions and services. Solutions encompass a payment gateway solution, a payment processing solution, and a payment security and fraud management solution. These technological components form the backbone of real-time payment systems, ensuring seamless and secure transactions. Meanwhile, services comprise professional services and managed services, offering support in the implementation, integration, and maintenance of real-time payment infrastructures. Both components are essential for delivering efficient and reliable payment experiences to end-users.

By Deployment Mode:

Another critical aspect of market segmentation is the deployment mode of real-time payment solutions, categorized as on-premises and cloud. On-premises deployment involves hosting payment infrastructure within the organization’s premises, offering greater control and customization. Conversely, cloud deployment leverages cloud computing resources for scalability, flexibility, and cost efficiency. Understanding the nuances of these deployment modes enables businesses to choose the approach that best aligns with their operational requirements and strategic objectives.

By enterprise size:

The Middle East and Africa The real-time payments market further segments based on enterprise size, catering to the needs of both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large enterprises. SMEs often require scalable and cost-effective payment solutions that can accommodate their growing businesses. In contrast, large enterprises demand robust and sophisticated payment systems capable of handling high transaction volumes and complex business operations. Tailoring solutions according to enterprise size ensures that businesses of all scales can leverage real-time payment technologies to enhance their operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.

By Verticals:

Vertical segmentation provides insights into the industries that extensively utilize real-time payment solutions. Key verticals include banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), IT and telecommunications, retail and e-commerce, government, and energy and utilities. Each vertical has distinct payment requirements and regulatory considerations, necessitating customized solutions to address sector-specific challenges and opportunities. By aligning solutions with vertical needs, stakeholders can unlock new revenue streams and drive innovation across diverse industry domains.

Segments:

By Nature of Payment

  • Person-to-Person (P2P)
  • Person-to-Business (P2B)
  • Business-to-Person (B2P)

By Component

  • Solutions
  • Payment Gateway Solution
  • Payment Processing Solution
  • Payment Security and Fraud Management Solution
  • Services
  • Professional Services
  • Managed Services

By Deployment Mode

  • On-premises
  • Cloud

By Enterprise Size

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
  • Large Enterprises

By Verticals

  • BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance)
  • IT and Telecommunications
  • Retail and e-commerce
  • Government
  • Energy and Utilities

By Region:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • UAE
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • South Africa
  • Nigeria
  • Algeria
  • The rest of MEA

Market Drivers

Shifting consumer behavior:

Consumers in the Middle East and Africa are undergoing a significant transformation in their payment preferences, increasingly embracing digital wallets, mobile banking, and the convenience of instant payments. For instance, digital wallet usage in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region made up around 20% of online spending in 2023. This trend is particularly pronounced among the young, tech-savvy population, which is accustomed to the seamless integration of technology into their daily lives. The shift towards digital payment methods underscores the growing importance of real-time payments in meeting the evolving needs and expectations of modern consumers.

E-commerce Boom:

The burgeoning e-commerce sector across Africa and the Middle East is a key driver propelling the demand for faster and more secure payment solutions. Real-time payments facilitate seamless online transactions, eliminating the delays associated with traditional payment methods. As more consumers turn to online shopping for convenience and accessibility, the need for efficient payment mechanisms becomes paramount, driving the adoption of real-time payment solutions in the region’s e-commerce ecosystem.

Government Initiatives:

Governments in the Middle East and Africa are actively promoting cashless economies as part of their broader economic development strategies. For instance, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has actively embraced digital payments, enabled by a supportive government focus and a strategic push towards digital or cashless economies. Through regulatory frameworks and infrastructure investments, governments are facilitating the adoption of real-time payments, recognizing their potential to enhance financial inclusion and economic efficiency. In fact, the Middle East is fast becoming the global hotspot for the real-time payments revolution sweeping the globe.  Despite the region’s digitally savvy population, the Middle East and Africa have remained heavily dependent on cash. However, new government and regulatory initiatives are bringing rapid change. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an acceleration of digital adoption and a flight from cash. Financial crime threats are insidious and severe, and authorities across the Middle East showcase a broad range of approaches to combat these issues.

High Smartphone Penetration:

The widespread availability and affordability of smartphones play a pivotal role in driving the adoption of real-time payments in the region. With smartphones acting as the primary platform for accessing mobile wallets and real-time payment applications, high smartphone penetration rates enable broader access to digital payment services. As more individuals gain access to smartphones, the potential user base for real-time payment solutions expands, driving further growth in the market.

Investment in Fintech:

Financial institutions and technology companies in the Middle East and Africa are investing heavily in developing innovative real-time payment solutions. This investment fosters competition and drives down transaction costs, making real-time payments more attractive for both businesses and consumers. By leveraging advancements in fintech, stakeholders are able to introduce cutting-edge payment solutions that enhance efficiency, security, and convenience, driving the adoption of real-time payments across diverse industries.

Growing Adoption of Cloud-Based Solutions:

Cloud-based solutions are gaining traction in the Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market due to their scalability, security, and cost-effectiveness. Cloud-based platforms offer greater flexibility and agility, enabling real-time payment providers to adapt to evolving market demands and scale their operations seamlessly. As businesses seek scalable and resilient payment infrastructures, the adoption of cloud-based solutions is expected to accelerate, further driving the growth of the market.

Rising customer expectations:

Customers today demand faster and more convenient payment options to meet their evolving lifestyle and business needs. Real-time payments address these expectations by enabling instant settlements and improving cash flow management. Businesses are increasingly recognizing the importance of meeting customer demands for seamless payment experiences, driving the adoption of real-time payment solutions to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Market Trends

Product Innovation:

Financial institutions are pioneering product innovation in the realm of real-time payments, going beyond basic functionalities to offer value-added services. These include features such as bill payments, peer-to-peer (P2P) micropayments, and integration with loyalty programs. For instance, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has actively embraced digital payments, with digital wallet usage making up around 20% of online spending in 2023. In addition, the adoption of bill payment schemes in the region has transformed the previous physical ecosystem into one of the best operating digital payment and collection models. Peer-to-peer payments are also gaining traction, with apps like Mamo Pay in the UAE enabling users to make and transfer payments to family, friends, and anyone in the UAE with a few taps and zero fees.

Open Banking Initiatives:

Open banking regulations are gaining momentum in select African and Middle Eastern countries, facilitating secure data sharing between banks and third-party fintech providers. This regulatory framework fosters innovation by allowing for the creation of new real-time payment applications and services. For instance, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is quickly becoming a hotbed for open banking, driven by a unique ecosystem, booming consumer demand, and forward-thinking regulators. The region has developed its own unique ecosystem to support fintech growth, with an estimated 3,000 fintech solutions in the region and 26,000 globally. By promoting collaboration and interoperability within the financial ecosystem, open banking initiatives contribute to the expansion and evolution of real-time payments in the region.

Focus on security:

With the increasing volume of real-time transactions, there is a heightened focus on robust security measures to safeguard sensitive financial data. Financial institutions are leveraging technologies such as biometric authentication, blockchain, and advanced fraud detection mechanisms to ensure secure and reliable transactions. By prioritizing security, stakeholders instill trust and confidence among users, driving wider adoption of real-time payment solutions in the Middle East and Africa.

Offline Payments:

In response to the challenges posed by limited internet connectivity in certain regions, the development of offline real-time payment solutions is underway. These solutions enable users to conduct transactions even in areas with unreliable or no internet access, expanding the reach of real-time payments to underserved communities. By bridging the digital divide, offline payment capabilities contribute to greater financial inclusion and accessibility across the region.

Integration with Social Media:

Social media platforms are exploring partnerships with real-time payment providers to enable seamless in-app purchases and social commerce transactions. Leveraging the vast user base and engagement levels of social media platforms, integration with real-time payments enhances the convenience and accessibility of financial transactions for users. This convergence of social media and real-time payments reflects the evolving nature of digital commerce and communication in the Middle East and Africa.

Rise of QR Code Payments:

QR code payments are gaining traction due to their simplicity, speed, and ease of use. This payment method is expected to play a significant role in the future of real-time payments, particularly in Africa, where smartphone penetration might be lower. QR code payments offer a convenient and cost-effective alternative to traditional payment methods, facilitating frictionless transactions for businesses and consumers alike. As QR code infrastructure continues to expand, its adoption is likely to accelerate, further driving the growth of real-time payments in the region.

Market Restraints and Challenges

Limited financial inclusion:

A significant challenge hindering the widespread adoption of real-time payment solutions in many African and Middle Eastern countries is limited financial inclusion. A large portion of the population remains unbanked or underbanked, lacking access to formal financial services. Real-time payment solutions often rely on smartphone and internet access, excluding those without such capabilities from participating in digital transactions. This disparity in financial access limits the reach and effectiveness of real-time payment solutions, highlighting the need for strategies to address financial inclusion barriers in the region.

Cybersecurity Threats:

As the volume of real-time transactions increases, so does the vulnerability to cyberattacks and fraud. Building trust among users is essential for the success of real-time payment solutions, necessitating robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard sensitive financial data and prevent unauthorized access. Cybersecurity threats pose a significant challenge to the adoption of real-time payments, requiring continuous investment in cybersecurity technologies and practices to mitigate risks and ensure the security and integrity of transactions.

Regulatory Uncertainty:

Regulatory frameworks for real-time payments are still evolving in many African and Middle Eastern countries, leading to regulatory uncertainty within the industry. Lack of clear regulations can create ambiguity for businesses and hinder innovation in the real-time payment space. Regulatory clarity is essential to providing a conducive environment for the development and deployment of real-time payment solutions, enabling stakeholders to navigate regulatory requirements effectively and drive the growth of the market in a sustainable manner.

Interoperability Issues:

Interoperability between different real-time payment systems presents a significant challenge in the Middle East and Africa. Limited interoperability can create friction for users who want to send or receive payments across different platforms, resulting in inconvenience and inefficiency. Addressing interoperability issues requires collaboration and standardization efforts among payment service providers and regulatory bodies to ensure seamless interoperability and enhance the user experience across diverse real-time payment systems.

Financial Literacy:

Limited financial literacy among certain demographics poses a barrier to the adoption of real-time payment solutions in the Middle East and Africa. Educating users about the benefits and security features of real-time payments is crucial for fostering wider acceptance and usage. Efforts to enhance financial literacy through targeted educational initiatives and awareness campaigns can empower users to make informed decisions and confidently embrace real-time payment technologies, driving greater adoption and usage across the region.

Cash Preference:

Despite the digital advancements, cash remains the preferred mode of payment for many people in the Middle East and Africa, particularly in rural areas. Changing ingrained habits and promoting the benefits of digital payments require ongoing efforts to shift consumer preferences. Encouraging the adoption of real-time payment solutions necessitates addressing the perceived advantages of cash, such as familiarity and anonymity, while highlighting the convenience, security, and efficiency of digital transactions. Efforts to promote digital payment literacy and incentivize cashless transactions are essential for driving the transition towards real-time payments in the region.

Key Players

  • Network International
  • PayTabs
  • MFS Africa
  • Interswitch
  • Emirates NBD
  • Iyzico
  • Peach Payments
  • Samsung Corporation
  • CIB Bank

Recent Developments

In February 2022, Accenture was chosen by the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) to spearhead a consortium of companies tasked with implementing its National Payment Systems Strategy. Working alongside SIA, now part of Nexi Group, and G42, Accenture is committed to constructing and managing the National Instant Payment Platform (IPP) within the country. This collaboration signifies a significant step towards modernizing the payment infrastructure in the UAE, with a focus on enhancing efficiency, security, and accessibility in the national payment ecosystem.

In August 2021, Taxi 724, a prominent Turkish taxi firm, initiated a pilot program for a software POS (sPOS) solution provided by Payneer Technology. This innovative technology allows NFC-enabled Android devices to facilitate contactless payments through a dedicated application. Complemented by a prepaid card option, the solution aims to streamline digital payment processes within the taxi service industry. By embracing contactless payment technology, Taxi 724 demonstrates its commitment to providing customers with convenient, secure, and modern payment experiences while adapting to evolving consumer preferences and technological advancements.

Regional Analysis

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia dominates the Middle East and Africa Real Time Payments Market, capturing around 25% of the total market share. The country’s ambitious Vision 2030 program and the drive towards digital transformation have propelled the adoption of real-time payment solutions. The Saudi Central Bank’s initiatives, such as the launch of the Saudi Payments Network (SPAN), have played a pivotal role in facilitating real-time payments and enhancing financial inclusion. Additionally, the growing e-commerce sector and the increasing demand for instant money transfers have further fueled the market’s growth in Saudi Arabia.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The UAE accounts for approximately 20% of the Middle East and Africa Real Time Payments Market share. The country’s position as a global financial hub and its tech-savvy population have driven the demand for real-time payment solutions. The UAE Central Bank’s implementation of the UAE Funds Transfer System (UAEFTS) has facilitated instant interbank fund transfers, promoting the adoption of real-time payments. Furthermore, the UAE’s thriving e-commerce market and the growing fintech ecosystem have contributed to the market’s expansion in the region.

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Future Outlook

  1. Continued Growth: The Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market is poised for sustained expansion driven by increasing digitalization and demand for instant payment solutions.
  2. Technological Advancements: Ongoing technological innovations, including blockchain and AI, will revolutionize the real-time payment landscape, enhancing speed, security, and efficiency.
  3. Regulatory Evolution: Regulatory frameworks will continue to evolve to foster a conducive environment for real-time payments, promoting interoperability and consumer protection.
  4. Financial Inclusion: Real-time payments will play a pivotal role in advancing financial inclusion by providing access to formal financial services for unbanked and underbanked populations.
  5. Cross-Border Transactions: Enhanced interoperability and cross-border payment capabilities will facilitate seamless transactions across borders, driving international trade and economic growth.
  6. Fintech Disruption: Fintech startups will continue to disrupt traditional banking models, offering innovative real-time payment solutions tailored to the needs of businesses and consumers.
  7. Mobile Payment Dominance: Mobile payment solutions will dominate the real-time payments landscape, leveraging the widespread adoption of smartphones and mobile banking apps.
  8. Security Prioritization: Cybersecurity will remain a top priority for stakeholders, prompting investments in robust security measures to safeguard against cyber threats and fraud.
  9. Collaboration and Partnerships: Collaboration between banks, fintech firms, and payment service providers will intensify, fostering the development of integrated and seamless payment ecosystems.
  10. Customer-Centric Approach: The focus will shift towards delivering personalized and user-friendly payment experiences, catering to the evolving preferences and expectations of customers.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the projected growth of the Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market between 2023 and 2032?

The Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market is projected to witness substantial growth, increasing from USD 29,747.68 million in 2023 to USD 69,432.91 million by 2032, reflecting an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.76%.

What factors are driving the growth of the Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market?

Several factors are driving the growth of the Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market, including the widespread proliferation of smartphones, increased internet penetration, regulatory initiatives promoting financial inclusion, and the burgeoning e-commerce sector. These factors are fueling the demand for faster, more secure, and more convenient payment methods across various industries in the region.

Who are the major players in the Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market?

Major players in the Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market include Network International, PayTabs, MFS Africa, Interswitch, Emirates NBD, Iyzico, Peach Payments, Samsung Corporation, and CIB Bank. These companies are actively investing in research and development to enhance their product offerings, expand their geographical presence, and gain a competitive edge in the market.

How is the availability of the Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market expanding, and through what channels?

The availability of the Middle East and Africa Real-Time Payments Market is expanding through various channels, including technological advancements, regulatory initiatives, and strategic partnerships. Technological innovations such as blockchain and AI are revolutionizing the real-time payment landscape, while regulatory frameworks are evolving to foster a conducive environment for real-time payments. Additionally, strategic partnerships between banks, fintech firms, and payment service providers are driving the development of integrated and seamless payment ecosystems across the region.

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