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EU banks worried about 'unrealistic' instant payment deadlines

EU banks worried about 'unrealistic' instant payment deadlines

A third of EU banks do not currently offer an instant payments service and the majority have been discouraged by the January 2025 deadline, according to recently published research.

A survey of 200 payment professionals at EU-based banks carried out by RedCompass Labs found that 58% of the banks that do not currently offer an instant payments service believe the deadlines are too unrealistic while a third are not confident of  meeting these deadlines.

However, despite these concerns, almost three-quarters (77%) still believe the benefits of instant payments outweigh the costs and just over half (55%) plan to offer instant payments as the default option to their clients. 

The report, So You Think You're Ready for SEPA Instant?, also found that banks may be underestimating the scale of processing involved.

While the majority of banks are aiming to process between 101-300 payments per second, bulk payment files can contain 100,000s of payments. Consequently, banks should be aiming to process at least 1,000 payments per second, according to RedCompass.

The majority of the surveyed banks (76%) also anticipate an increase in their IT budgets in order to meet the new SEPA rules with the average increase amounting to between €1 and €3m per bank. 

“The EU’s new regulation demonstrates that the instant payments revolution has officially arrived in Europe," said RedCompass Labs CEO Tom Hewson. 

“Our research shows that there is understandably some trepidation about the proximity of the timelines and a possible underestimation of how much they need to scale their throughput and invest," added Hewson.

"As there is no cookie-cutter solution that will work for all banks, we can expect to see an exploration of alternative approaches that don’t require them to change their core banking systems."

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