European Commission aims to speed up the rollout of instant payments across the EU
The European Commission has proposed new legislation to make instant payments in euros universally available for individuals and businesses with a bank account in the EU and EEA countries.
The Commission has decided to step in with legislation as the availability of instant payments and the fees involved currently vary widely across different member states.
It says its new proposal is designed to “ensure that instant payments in euros are affordable, secure, and processed without hindrance across the EU”.
“Instant payments allow people to transfer money at any time of any day within ten seconds. This is much faster compared to traditional credit transfers, which are received by payment service providers only during business hours and arrive at the payee’s account only by the following business day, which could take up to three calendar days,” it says.
The Commission adds that only 11% of all euro credit transfers in the EU were instant as of the start of 2022. “This proposal aims to remove the barriers that prevent instant payments and their benefits to become more widespread.”
The new proposal will make it mandatory for EU payment service providers that already offer credit transfers in euros to offer instant payments. Firms must also ensure the service is not more expensive than standard transfers.
The Commission is also aiming to boost trust in instant payments by making it mandatory for firms to “verify the match between the bank account number (IBAN) and the name of the beneficiary provided by the payer in order to alert the payer of a possible mistake or fraud before the payment is made”.
It adds the move will “support innovation and competition in the EU payments market, in full conformity with existing rules on sanctions and fighting financial crime”.