Real-Time Payments Forecasted to Help Generate 0.36% of GDP by 2026

The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey introduced real-time payments in the country in 2012, with the launch of the Retail Payment System (RPS).

In 2021, the country recorded 1.4 billion real-time transactions, which resulted in an estimated cost savings of $1.3 billion for businesses and consumers. This helped to unlock $2.1 billion of additional economic output, which represents 0.26% of the country’s GDP.

With real-time payment transaction numbers expected to rise to 3.9 billion in 2026, net savings for consumers and businesses are forecasted to climb to $2.3 billion. That would help to generate an additional $3.7 billion of economic output, equivalent to 0.36% of the country’s forecasted GDP.

The RPS system supports individual P2P, C2B and B2B transfers, and also bulk transfers such as salary payments. However, transfers through RPS were limited to only during business hours. This prompted the central bank to launch a new real-time payments system called Instant and Continuous Transfer of Funds (FAST) in January 2021, making real-time payments available 24/7. The new system supports payments using mobile phone numbers, ID numbers or email addresses, and payments using QR codes are also set to be introduced. As the new FAST system is set to facilitate QR code-based, day-to-day payments, real-time payments volume is set to record a 21.9% CAGR from 2021-2026.

Key Stats

Real-Time Payment Types

Single Instance

Bulk Payments

Initiation/Authorization Methods

Bank Account



Year of Real-Time
Payments Launch


Retail Payment System (RPS)


Instant and Continuous Transfer of Funds (FAST)


Business hours

Message Standard


ACI’s Take

Turkey’s hoped-for accession to the European Union — and the degree of upfront regulatory alignment that is required — is a major driver of current real-time payments development in the country, alongside its mission to achieve a cashless market by 2023.

It has a strong foundation for both of these aims in the shape of the FAST real-time payments system. Designed from inception to be multi-functional, supporting a wide range of use cases — in-store, P2P, bill-paying and so on — FAST also features standardized QR codes and an Easy Addressing System. And the Turkish government refuses to lift its foot from the gas. From mandating all
payment and electronic money institutions to join the Association of Payment and Electronic Money Institutions of Turkey, to the Turkish Central Bank’s banning of crypto currency (directly or indirectly) as an instrument of payment, it continues to take a proactive role in shaping the real-time payments infrastructure.

As a potential EU member, Turkey receives pre-accession assistance under the new Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III) scheme, which supports countries in adopting and implementing key economic reforms to comply with EU values and progressively align to EU rules, standards and policies. So far, as open banking is concerned, anything that happens in Europe will be mirrored in Turkey, which has already announced compliance with PSD2 and will comply with whatever enhancements the European Commission mandates when it reviews the Directive. This brings an element of simplicity and predictability to payment modernization roadmaps.

One complicating factor, however, is the potential for future tension as the Turkish government seeks to maintain control of the technological direction of travel. PSD2 provides a current example: while the Directive mandates certain third-party access to bank-held consumer data, under Turkish law it is not clear if a bank is obliged to do this. Banks and institutions should also monitor the government’s progress in resisting the expansion of Big Tech players. This is evident in its approach to social media — with several government departments publicly stating a preference for Turkcell’s BiP messaging service versus Facebook’s WhatsApp, for example — which has implications for the incorporation of real-time payments into mobile apps.

Yet overall, the government’s involvement bodes well for payments transformation, not least because imposition of systems from the top down is more possible than in other territories. Given that high cash use (still over 60%) provides ample room to grow, with continued regulatory involvement — and patience — Turkey could grow into one of Europe’s largest real-time markets by volume.


Mobile Wallet Trends


% of adults who have a mobile wallet and have
used it in the past year (2021)

Real-Time Acceptance





Real-Time Total Participants


Retail Payment System (RPS)


Instant and Continuous Transfer of Funds (FAST)

Population Banking Level


Number of debit, credit and
charge cards per adult


Index to global average

  • Fully Banked
  • Progressing
  • Underbanked

Real-Time Transactions







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

Card details stolen online


Identity theft


Confidence trick

Share of Volumes by Payments Instrument


  • Paper-based payments
  • Electronic payments
  • Real-time payments


Spend (USD)



Real-Time Payments Volume and Its Share in Overall Non-Paper-Based Transactions, 2015-26f

% of total electronic payments transaction volume

Trends + Data

Cloud Management Platform


Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)


Hybrid Cloud


Managed Cloud Service

  • Current priority
  • Planned

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Private Cloud

Software as a Service (SaaS)


Turkey is classified as an upper-middle-income country and ranked as the 21st largest economy in 2021 (Cebr World Economic League Table, 2022).

As the majority of transactions by value take place as real-time (91.6% of the total value of all transactions in the country), the economic impact is sizeable. Consumer and business benefits totaled approximately $1.3 billion in 2021. The largest component of this ($1 billion, or 78.5% of the total) was due to net savings from the reduction in the size of the payments float.

At the macroeconomic level, the benefits of real-time payments as of 2021 amounted to $2.1 billion or 0.26% of Turkish GDP. The most significant contribution is again the additional economic activity supported through a reduction in the size of the payments float, allowing this unlocked capital to support higher levels of economic output.

By 2026, it is estimated that the share of transactions by value will remain at the same level while the share of transactions by volume will grow to 14% at a strong CAGR of 21.9%. This results in the consumer and business level benefits rising to $2.3 billion. The specific benefit associated with the reduction in the size of the payments float is estimated to increase to $1.4 billion.

This increase in the consumer- and business-level benefits are also expected to contribute an increase in Turkish GDP facilitated by real-time payments, which is estimated to increase to $3.7 billion in 2026. This is equivalent to 0.36% of formal Turkish GDP, or the output supported by 118,870 jobs.

For Businesses and Consumers



Net savings stimulated by real-time payments



Projected net savings stimulated by real-time payments

GDP Growth



of economic output



of GDP facilitated by real-time payments



Projected of economic output



of GDP facilitated by real-time payments


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