ERPB Approves Instant Payments Plan (Nov. 29, 2015)
Instant payments are a step closer to becoming a reality in Europe, now that the European Payments Council (EPC) has submitted and received approval on its proposal for the design of a pan-European instant credit transfer framework. The EPC’s proposal was approved by the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB), which late last year issued a call for the development of instant P2P and mobile contactless payments throughout the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) to avoid a fragmented market for instant payments in Europe. In June, the EPC submitted a report recommending the creation of an instant credit transfer scheme to facilitate instant payments. The ERPB approved the recommendation and asked the EPC to develop a plan for the scheme.
The proposal, submitted and approved last week, covers the general features of the scheme, which will be based on the credit transfer payment instrument for transactions made in euros throughout the 34 SEPA nations. To make the plan as cost-efficient as possible, the scheme will use the same foundations as the existing SEPA credit transfer framework, including usage of the same business rules, datasets, attributes and exception handling, according to the EPC. Among the issues still to be addressed are the number of seconds needed to process an instant transaction, how to incorporate AML checks into the process and the maximum value of an instant transaction. Those and other open issues will be addressed in the coming months, before publication of a draft of the official rulebook and implementation guidelines for the scheme, the EPC said. The draft is projected for release summer 2016, followed by a three-month public consultation period. Final implementation of the scheme is targeted for November 2017.