Key findings

Our analysis of the 2015 global non-cash transaction volumes shows volumes grew 11.2% during 2014–2015 to reach 433.1 billion, the highest growth of the past decade. Two regions fueled this increase: Emerging Asia, with a growth rate of 43.4% and Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA, with growth of 16.4%).

  • Within the top-10 markets for non-cash transaction volumes, China climbed to No. 3 with 38.1 billion transactions. China’s rise was fueled by 63.2% growth, the result of higher adoption of digital payments initiatives in rural areas and a shift from cash to mobile payments among payment services users (PSUs).

Non-cash transactions growth is happening as government regulations transform payments’ processes, business models and solutions. Regulators have taken a transformative approach to infuse competition and innovation among payments’ services. Key Regulatory and Industry Initiatives (KRIIs) have the potential to achieve substantive results when it comes to standardization and transparency, which are expected to spur innovative customer solutions.

  • One of the most important KRIIs for the payments industry is the revised Payment Services Directive II (PSD2), to be implemented in January 2018. With it, Europe takes an important step toward becoming a fully interoperable digital market. This is expected to have far-reaching effects across banks, payment services providers (PSPs), FinTechs, and corporates. It is also inspiring other geographies to develop similar initiatives to fuel digital transformation of payments.

Although regulators have provided the deadline for transposing PSD2 into national laws, the process of transposition lacks clarity. It is feared that there might be a lack of synchronization between the national laws of EU members. There are also fears that the momentum for implementing the regulatory technical standards (RTS) of PSD2, which come into effect 12-16 months after PSD2 comes into force, could be lost.

Without a final roadmap to address PSD2 stakeholder concerns, it is likely that some may be reluctant to quickly move forward.

And when it comes to complex and dynamic Asia-Pacific payment regulations, corporate CFOs and treasurers must carefully navigate the regulatory labyrinth; while also considering back-to-back or off-shore financing, hedging against foreign exchange risk, and making use of electronic payments.

The World Payments Report 2017 mid-year preview is available for download at

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