SEPA Instant Credit Transfer
Instant payments (or immediate, real-time payments ) are electronic retail payment solutions available 24/7/365 and resulting in the immediate or close-to-immediate (within a few seconds) crediting of the payee’s account.
To continue the SEPA spirit and to avoid fragmentation on the market for instant payment solutions, the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB), a body with high-level representatives from the demand and supply side of the retail payments sector, promoted the creation of a common standard for instant payments.
Based on that, the European Payments Council (EPC) developed a SEPA scheme for an instant credit transfers called SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst). The rulebook was published in November 2016, became effective in November 2017 and can since be used by banks.
Now it is up to banks to implement the new SEPA scheme and up to infrastructure providers like Clearing Houses or the Eurosystem to support banks with efficient clearing and/or settlement solutions.
Eurosystem provides service for the settlement of instant payments
On 21st of June the Governing Council of the European Central Bank decided to launch the implementation of a pan-European service for the settlement of instant payments in central bank money. From the Eurosystem perspective this can be seen as an important step in preventing a reintroduction of fragmentation in the retail payments market. It is a policy objective of the Eurosystem, that instant payments in Euro can be made anywhere in the EU, irrespective of where the payer or payee may be located. This applies for SEPA direct debit, SEPA credit transfer and for SEPA instant payments as well.
The new service, TARGET instant payment settlement (TIPS), enables customers of participating banks to transfer money between each other in real time. It is available around the clock, 365 days a year. TIPS has been developed by the Eurosystem in close cooperation with the financial industry and went live in November 2018. The first Austrian banks joined TIPS at the beginning of 2019.