How Big Is The Real-Time Payments Economy in the Money Transfer World?

We all know the P2P (Remittance) market is about USD 630 Billion per annum. But there is a caveat to this statement. It represents a market where the minimum transfer price has a floor, which is USD 100. So if we were to allow real-time payments, between USD o to 99, how big would the market be?

Watch and find out.


Hello. A question I get is how big is the real time person to person economy. My name is Faisal Khan. I’m a banking and a payment consultant, and this question absolutely fascinates me.

If you were to walk into a money transfer store typically anywhere in the world, there is a minimum floor price and that floor price traditionally is a $100. If you go to a store in Paris or in Copenhagen and you say hey I want to transfer money all the way across to Manila or India or Bangladesh or Pakistan etc. 100 euros or 100 dollars maybe the absolute minimum you can send. If you sell it below that floor price, it’s just going to be so expensive to send that money that it just doesn’t make sense.

So, we know for a fact that World Bank publishes these numbers – the 630 billion dollar number and 630 billion dollars is the person to person transfer market, which is at a price of a 100 dollars or above, a 100 dollars or above. So how big can the market be for zero to 100? That’s the question. If you enable zero to 100 dollar market and you enable it to be in real time how big is that market. In order to do this calculation, let me run through a very simple example.

Let’s say you go to a city like, I don’t know, let’s just take an example London. And if I were to ask someone or someone knowledgeable how many transactions happen in the City of London in a year over a 100 pounds? This could be stock, bonds, checks, electronic debit, credit, faster payments, travellers cheques whatever – anything over a 100 pounds. They may say OK well, OK forget the year, how many in a day? So let’s say there are 20 million people who are in or around Britain, and they do one transaction a day over a 100 or maybe half of them do that transaction. So you are already looking at millions of transactions over a 100 pounds a day.

Now if I were to ask you the same question how many transactions between zero and 100 pounds? Chewing gum, cigarettes, cafe, coffee, parking tickets everything small – small or big. The answer is millions, right. So I said OK can you quantify it as a as a multiplier from the ones with over a 100. So let’s say if over a hundred euros or pounds transactions what a 100,000 transactions a day. Let’s just take, just to make the math easier 100,000 transactions a day, people would say oh at least 50 times more, I said OK cool. So if we’re doing 100,000 transactions over a 100 pounds we are doing, what five million transactions under that. They say yeah, absolutely. So 50 times more.

So, likewise if we take the similar example if we know that the transaction value of the worldwide, person to person remittance is over a 100 is 620 billion. And what would be the number between 0 to a 100? What sort of a multiplier do we apply? 50? Let’s go simple, let’s go 10. 10 times that would be 6 trillion dollar market. So the number that I perceive it to be is at least, at least ten times the B2B market which is 6 trillion dollars. When the world will truly be ready for let’s say Real Time Person to person payments anywhere in the world. In the 1900 payment systems that we know off, the market’s going to be in trillions. Perhaps 20-25 trillion dollars. But so far if you want to do it for effort estimation purposes, my answer is six trillion dollars. That is how big the Real-Time P2P market is between 0 and a 100 dollars.

Till next time, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask below. Have a good one.

This page was last updated on September 1, 2022.

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