The European Payments Council has released proposals for the design of a pan-European instant credit transfer scheme, with the aim of bringing real-time money transfers across the Sinlge Euro Payments Area (Sepa) by November 2017.
The EPC has received approval of the plans from the Euro Retail Payments Board, a high-level body chaired by the European Central Bank. The ERPB pushed for action in December last year, after expressing concern that the emergence of new domestic platforms, such as the UK's Faster Payments scheme, might end up creating a fragmented market in Europe for instant payments, similar to what existed in regular payments in the past.
The EPC blueprint covers the general features of a voluntary 'SCT Inst' scheme, based on the credit transfer payment instrument, for transactions in euro in the 34 Sepa countries.
The Council says it will now address the remaining open issues (such as the maximum number of seconds needed to process an SCT Inst transaction), in dialogue with payment stakeholders and start developing a Rulebook and Implementation Guidelines.
Discussions with third parties over clearing and settlement arrangements will continue in parallel, with a view to publishing the final proposals in November next year, following a three-month public consultation.
Javier Santamaría, chair of the EPC, says: “We look forward to the support of all Payment Service Providers and technical players to implement this project, which will be the first of its kind in a region as large as Sepa.”