Nearly 600 payment service providers (PSPs) from eight countries are onboard for today's launch of the Sepa Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme, bringing real-time money transfers to much of Europe.
The European Payments Council is introducing the Sepa Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme in response to concerns that the emergence of new domestic platforms, such as the UK's Faster Payments, might end up creating a fragmented market in Europe, similar to what existed in regular payments in the past.
Under the SCT Inst blueprint, people and corporations will be able to transfer up to EUR15,000 within 10 seconds, 24/7/365, across borders between accounts in any of 34 Sepa countries. PSPs willing to increase the amount limit and transaction speed can bilaterally or multilaterally agree to do so.
At launch, PSPs in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Spain are signed on, meaning that their customers can make and receive instant euro payments within their national borders and cross-border with the other early adopters.
PSPs from Belgium, Finland, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden are set to get onboard in 2018 and 2019, with SCT Inst progressively spanning over 34 European countries.
Meanwhile, seven large clearing and settlement mechanisms (CSMs) - including EBA Clearing, Equens Worldline, Iberpay and Stet - will be able to support SCT Inst transactions from November. In addition, the European Central Bank's Target Instant Payment Settlement platform will enter the arena in late 2018.
Javier Santamaría, chair, EPC, says: "With its numerous advantages, the SCT Inst scheme fully anchors European payments in the anywhere, anytime digital world. SCT Inst is the only regional initiative of this kind in the world. The European payment community can be proud of the work achieved to make instant euro credit transfers a reality today."
"I can only encourage PSPs who have not joined SCT Inst yet to do it as soon as possible. This enhanced European payments integration will have tremendous benefits for European consumers and businesses alike."