Request-To-Pay in a nutshell
At first glance, Request-To-Pay (RTP or R2P) is just a demand for a payment, such as an electronically issued invoice.
What RTP distinguishes from similar procedures is that it is an open message standard and that the messages are delivered in real time.
The exchanged messages contain, among other information, in particular all details required for the execution of the payment.
Connected systems can thus already pre-configure the transaction and provide it to the payer in a suitable way, e.g. in the banking app for individuals or in the accounting system for companies.
By combining RTP with the possibility of directly triggering the financial transaction in real-time, a large number of payment processes can be automated to the greatest possible extent.
The European variant: SEPA RTP
With the Scheme Rulebook for SEPA Request-To-Pay (SEPA RTP or SRTP), the EPC has defined a more detailed variant specifically for the European payment area.
The simultaneous support of real-time payments and SRTP by EBA CLEARING provides all European participants with a powerful tool for modern payment processing in the B2B and B2C sector.
SRTP in practice
How SRTP works
SRTP is an open standard with regard to the information exchanged. This allows the support of the most diverse processes, which are, however, identical at the core:
The starting point of every payment request is the payee, triggering a message to the payer. The payer receives the message in the form of a well prepared payment, which he will either accept or reject. Finally, the payee receives the message about the outcome of the transaction.
The following illustration outlines in a simplified way a payment process in retail trade:
The process above is only one of many possible variations. There are five options for the recipient to respond to an SRTP message:
- accept now: the request is accepted immediately
- accept later: the payer postpones acceptance until a later time
- pay now: the payment is getting executed immediately
- pay later: the request is accepted, but the transaction is not executed right now
- reject: the payment is refused
The payee receives the information about the choice made by the payer per status report notification and can react accordingly.
Advantages for banks, payment service providers and users
As an alternative to credit card payments, PayPal, Apple Pay & Co. SEPA Request-To-Pay meets all conditions for a successful establishment on the market:
- Reliability: the infrastructure and the procedural rules ensure reliable message processing
- Speed: the proven EBA CLEARING systems guarantee real-time processing throughout Europe
- Simplicity: users benefit from the simple and uniform mapping of their payment processes
- Security: in combination with real-time payments, transfers will be securely concluded
- Cost efficiency: the banks' cost calculations are based on low flat rates per transaction
- Future-proof: well established standards are getting used, such as ISO 20022 XML as message format
- Customer loyalty: banks can offer their customers an own payment method for real-time transactions. In addition, further services can be offered, e.g. enabling the purchase by credit in case of a missing account balance.
SRTP and the chances
In order to allow the broadest set of supported applications, the standard makes no statements on explicit use cases or even user interfaces. Thus, almost all payment processes can be initiated using SRTP.
Due to the specific characteristics of SRTP, however, its use makes sense above all in areas where real-time processing in conjunction with automatic transaction mapping is required.
A classic scope of application is the use for bulk payments in accounting or ERP systems. These can easily handle both, the billing as well as payment balancing.
Cash register systems in the retail trade or internet shop systems, on the other hand, profit mainly from the convenient and immediate execution of payments.
Besides this, the open architecture readily allows completely different use cases.
The SRTP standard is continuously advanced on an annual basis to provide additional features, e.g. payments in parts or recurring payments.
Full SRTP support by BL Real-Time Server
EBA CLEARING for pan-European real-time services
With the RT1 system from EBA CLEARING, a reliable infrastructure for real-time transfers with EBICS as a communication channel has been available for several years. The platform allows Europe-wide Instant Payments according to SCT Inst scheme.
By the additional processing of SEPA Request-To-Pay messages, EBA CLEARING has laid the foundations for the breakthrough of real-time transactions for Europe's banking world.
BL Real-Time Server for Instant Payment and SEPA Request-To-Pay
The current version of the Real-Time Server from the Hilden-based software company Business-Logics also supports both methods.
Financial institutions and payment service providers can thus use one system connected to EBA CLEARING to integrate real-time services as a holistic solution in their customer products.
Example of a real-time payment in retail trade, triggered by SEPA RTP