SWIFT and EBA CLEARING today announced that users of EBA CLEARING’s instant payment system, RT1, will be able to access the platform via SWIFTNet Instant from November 2018.
The SWIFT solution will address all RT1 customer requirements, including instant messaging, file transfers and a browse solution.
Erwin Kulk, Head of Service Development and Management, EBA CLEARING, said: “RT1 will provide the European payments industry with a pan-European infrastructure platform for real-time payments in euro from day one of the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer Scheme. We expect to see close to 30 joiners for the go-live on 21 November 2017 and more than 50 users in the system by mid-2018. We are pleased that SWIFT’s instant payments solution will become available to RT1 participants from November 2018 on, providing the user community with additional choice in terms of connectivity options.”
SWIFT’s instant payments solution is designed to work anywhere in Europe and around the world, enabling SWIFT customers to connect seamlessly to multiple instant payment clearing and settlement mechanisms. For the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), SWIFT has already agreed to offer connectivity to EBA CLEARING’s RT1 system and to the Eurosystem’s TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) platform. As announced in June, SWIFT will support delivery of the future Eurosystem vision of a single gateway to Eurosystem market Infrastructure services and access to other clearing and settlement mechanisms.
Alain Raes, Chief Executive of Europe, Middle East & Africa, SWIFT, said: “Europe is taking important steps to ensure its lead in the instant payments area and we are pleased to be able to connect our customers to such critical infrastructures. Our solution is future-proofed to meet the current and future messaging needs of our customers in Europe and those in the rest of the world."
The solution for European customers is the next step in SWIFT’s global instant payments strategy, which began in 2015 when SWIFT was awarded the contract to build the messaging infrastructure to underpin Australia’s new payments platform, NPPA. In August this year, SWIFT announced that it will provide US financial institutions with a gateway to The Clearing House’s real time payments platform. SWIFT is providing a similar solution to participants to Hong Kong’s Faster Payments System (FPS).
The pan-European infrastructure platform RT1 will be used for the 24/7 settlement of real-time payments in line with the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) Scheme of the European Payments Council (EPC). Together with 39 funding institutions, EBA CLEARING has been developing and implementing RT1 since April 2016. The objective was to provide payment service providers across SEPA with a real-time payment processing facility operating around the clock on any day of the year. RT1 is scheduled to go live on 21 November 2017.
RT1 will be open to any account-servicing payment provider (AS-PSP) adhering to the EPC SCT Inst Scheme. The platform has been conceived as a network-agnostic system, meaning that users can rely on different network solutions, provided they have been introduced at platform and user level in line with the necessary security requirements.
The availability of SWIFTNet Instant for connecting to RT1 adds another chapter to the long-standing successful partnership between SWIFT and EBA CLEARING, which dates back to the launch of the high-value payment service, EURO1, in January 1999; SWIFT provides the messaging layer and operates the settlement system on behalf of EBA CLEARING. SWIFT also provides the messaging layer to STEP2, the pan-European Automated Clearing House, which processes euro retail payments, and links the system with Target2 for liquidity transfers.
The industry’s move to instant payments and the European Single MI Gateway will require significant infrastructure and operational change. SWIFT is committed to supporting its community in this important transformation.
Carlo Palmers, Head of Market Infrastructures, SWIFT, said: “Through other European developments such as Euro1, T2 and T2S, we have clearly demonstrated our ability to deliver mission critical industry projects. We will make instant payments simple and seamless for our customers, who will be able to reuse the investment they have made already. For new customers, we will offer complete on-boarding services to reduce risk and manage costs.”