Real-Time Payments Provide Huge Opportunity for Economic Growth
Indonesia became the most recent entrant into the real-time payments space with the launch of BI-FAST real-time payments system in December 2021. The system went live with 21 banks, starting with individual credit transfer services. Other functionalities, such as bulk credit, direct debit, and request for payment services, are set to be phased in.
Therefore, for 2021, no net savings and no economic impact have been recorded.
With real-time transactions set to rise to 1.6 billion in 2026, – net savings for consumers and businesses are forecasted to climb to $222 million in 2026. That would, helping to generate an additional $747 million of economic output, equivalent to 0.05 % of the country’s forecasted GDP.
According to the Cebr, the theoretical impact of all payments being real-time could add 2.7 % to formal GDP by 2026. However, these are theoretically modelled modeled benefits, ; they dothis does not suggest that there is no longer place for non-instant electronic payments or paper-based payments in the future.
Although cash has traditionally been the preferred payments instrument in Indonesia, electronic payments have been steadily gaining ground from the past few years, supported by government initiatives, increasing banked population and improvements in payments infrastructure. The COVID-19 pandemic also further accelerated the shift towards digital payments in the nation. All of these factors provide favorable conditions for the success of real-time payments in the country.
Real-Time Payment Types
Year of Real-Time Payments Launch
The outlook for real-time payments in Indonesia is excellent, thanks in large part to the government’s clearly-stated ambitions to create an end-to-end integrated digital economy. This was enshrined in 2019’s Indonesia Payment System Blueprint (BSPI) 2025, which established five payment system “visions”. These included open banking, a retail payments system and a high-value (wholesale) payments system. Overall, BSPI 2025 is being realized through 23 key deliverables, implemented in stages from 2019 to 2025.
A crucial component of BSPI is Bank Indonesia’s BI-Fast real-time payments system. Its preliminary launch was in December 2021 and market conditions are well set up for real-time payments to thrive as it nears full launch in 2022. Those conditions include Indonesia’s large population, its high proportion of paper-based payments (the country is one of the world’s heaviest users of cash) and low payment card ownership. There are also significant levels of cross-border trade with neighbors Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. Being a latecomer to real-time payments, Indonesia has the advantages of adopting best practices and lessons learned from around the world. As such, they are taking the opportunity to implement a proven central infrastructure hub and participant connector/gateway solutions leveraging ISO 20022 to harmonize the country’s real-time payments ecosystem.
As well as setting firm deadlines and putting in place strong regulatory mandates, the government and Bank Indonesia are following the ideal strategy of prioritizing low-value real-time payments to build volume and critical mass. For banks, cloud-based, scalable “software-as-a-service” payment solutions are the preferred tools for this stage of real-time implementation, with payment hubs following to handle high-value payments.
The shift to real-time payments in Indonesia is inevitable, and the central bank is expected to dedicate a lot of energy to accelerate the development of the central infrastructure hub and adoption of the relevant connectors/gateways by financial institutions. With the speed of growth in volume terms likely to be extremely high, fraud monitoring and mitigation policies and technologies must be ready to go from day one. Experiences in other markets demonstrate the importance of payments intelligence to safeguard the central addressing database and consumers’ payment transactions.
More broadly, banks and other financial institutions must hasten their payments modernization journeys to be able to successfully meet any rapid rise in volumes and also to establish the foundations of a modern payments hub architecture. This will make future changes easier to deal with. This would also provide a pathway for processing low and high value payments on a single system — a huge operational advantage — and the future convergence of additional payment types.
Mobile Wallet Trends
% of adults who have a mobile wallet and have
used it in the past year (2021)
Real-Time Total Participants
Population Banking Level
Number of debit, credit and
charge cards per adult
Index to global average
F5 Yr CAGR
Payments Fraud Rate
Population who reported being a
victim of fraud in the last 4 years
Top 3 Payment Fraud Types
|% of fraud victims||Trend|
Digital wallet account hacked
Share of Volumes by Payments Instrument
- Paper-based payments
- Electronic payments
- Real-time payments
Real-Time Payments Volume and Its Share in Overall Non-Paper-Based Transactions, 2015-26f
Indonesia is classified as a lower-middle-income country and ranked the 16th largest global economy in 2021 (Cebr World Economic League Table, 2022).
With regards to real-time payments, Indonesia’s BI-FAST system launched in December 2021. As a result, there is no real-time payments economic impact for 2021. However, the hypothetical maximum attainable benefit to Indonesian consumers and businesses from full adoption of real-time payments is estimated at $16.6 billion in 2021, while the hypothetical macroeconomic gains stand at an additional $32 billion of economic output (2.95% of GDP) over the same period.
By 2026, the forecasted share of the payments mix for real-time payments is 3%, while most transactions are predicted to remain paper-based instruments (81%). Based upon this forecast, consumers and businesses stand to gain a net value of $222 million in 2026. The realized macroeconomic benefits of real-time are anticipated to reach $747 million in 2026, equivalent to the output of 70,412 workers or 0.05% of formal GDP.
As real-time instruments are introduced into the payments mix, there is an expected net-cost increase for the payments system in 2026 of $112 million. As the new technology is brought in, the high per-transaction costs relative to paper-based alternatives mean that real-time payments will not yet create net efficiency gains. However, once real-time instruments mature and become established in the payments mix, real-time transactions per capita will rise and Indonesia will start to benefit from net-cost savings across the payments system.
For Businesses and Consumers
Net savings stimulated by real-time payments
Projected net savings stimulated by real-time payments
of economic output
Projected of economic output
of GDP facilitated by real-time payments
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