29th November 2015

ECB pushes for an EU instant payments scheme

Euro payments inside the EU are today governed by a set of rules and technical measures, jointly called SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area). The implementation of this single scheme for the whole EU made life easier for businesses and citizens across the Union. Euro payments look the same across the EU, cross-border and intra-state payments do not differ in any way. However, they are based on standard bank transfers which can take up to one business day. According to the ECB-chaired Euro Retail Payments Board, which brings together providers of payment methods and consumers, this is too slow. The association of payment method providers was asked to come up with an innovative system for instant payments until November 2016. The ECB would like to have the new system implemented by November 2017. The new instant payment scheme would be based on the existing SEPA, but should realize payments in a matter of seconds at any time (even when banks are closed). It could then be developed into an innovative EU-wide framework for person-to-person payments.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic