28 February 2024

Commitment to Instant Payments as a challenge and opportunity for Europe's banking world

On 7th February the European Parliament approved with a large majority the regulation on instant bank transfers in euros.

The decision will revolutionize European payment transactions — and that already in the near future.

The new regulation on instant bank transfers at a glance

Instant Payments as a must

Instant Payments (IP) are intra-European transfers in euros that are credited to the target account within a few seconds.

The method used here is not new. The SCT Inst scheme introduced by the European Payments Council (EPC) has been in place since 2017 and is already supported by a large number of European payment service providers.

Europe-wide instant payment will become standard

With the new regulation, all payment service providers that already offer transfers in euros will now also have to accept and send instant payments as a service in the future.

The same applies to the submission of multiple payments: If payment service providers allow the transmission of multiple transfers in one order, they must also offer this for instant payments in euros.

The regulation contains further requirements and sets a tight time frame for implementation.

24/365 availability

The resolutions are aimed in particular at creating added value for consumers. For broad acceptance, it is necessary that instant payments are offered 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

With a few exceptions, it is therefore not possible to set up cut-off times or to restrict them to business days.

Fees for instant payments

The fees for instant transfers may not be higher than those charged by the payment service provider for normal transfers in euros.

IBAN name check

Payment service providers that accept instant payments in euro as a service must provide their users with a service to match the name and IBAN of the payee.

Users must be informed in the event of discrepancies. This must be done before the payer completes the instant payment order and before the payment service provider executes the instant payment.

A fee may be charged for the use of the IBAN name check. Users are free to choose whether or not to use this service.

Payment service providers currently have many questions regarding the IBAN name check. Instead of having to rely on different systems from private service providers, a standardized interface with an identical database and logic — ideally provided by the EPC — should be of the greatest added value.

Screening of instant payments with respect to EU sanctions

Payment service providers must check at least once a day whether there are any designated persons or entities among their customers who have been subject to EU sanctions.

In addition, a review must be carried out immediately if new persons or entities have been designated or changes have been made in this regard.

In particular, a harmonized approach must be followed so that EU sanctions can be applied without duplication, inefficiencies and resultant frictions caused by applying divergent screening processes.

Time frame

The timetable for implementing the regulation can certainly be considered ambitious. After all, the interfaces involved must be real-time capable for instant transfers.

A total of four deadlines have been set for implementation from the date of entry into force, i.e. 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal.

9 months:
Payment service providers in the euro area must accept instant payments in euros.
18 months:
Payment service providers in the euro area must support the sending of instant payments in euros.
33 months:
Payment service providers outside the euro area must accept instant payments in euros.
39 months:
Payment service providers outside the euro area must offer the sending of instant payments in euros.


The new regulation provides the European financial center with the urgently needed progress in the shortest time in order to keep pace with modern payment transactions of the 21st century.

Especially in connection with the standard Request-To-Pay (R2P), there is the opportunity to establish a European alternative to credit card payments, PayPal, Apple Pay & Co.

Real-time transfers via EBICS

There are several technical methods for sending transfers in real time. In addition to TIPS and SIA, the established EBICS technology is available as a comparatively inexpensive option.

The real-time platform RT1, which has been provided by EBA CLEARING since 2018, enables credit institutions and financial service providers to exchange payments in real time in a standardized way.

The connection to RT1 itself is quite easy to accomplish by interposing a real-time-capable EBICS channel via messaging. The German manufacturer Business-Logics offers the Real-Time Server as a ready-made solution for this purpose. The server system is also designed for the new R2P standard and will also support this when the corresponding EBA CLEARING platform becomes available.

If you are interested, the Sales of Business-Logics will be happy to provide you with information on the subject of Instant Payments.