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EBA Clearing's RT1 reaches critical mass in Germany

Source: EBA Clearing

EBA CLEARING announced today that its instant payment system RT1 has further expanded its coverage in the German market and now reaches a critical mass of payment service providers (PSPs) operating in Germany.

With this large-scale connection to EBA CLEARING’s pan-European infrastructure platform, the German banking community has laid the foundation for rolling out euro real-time payment products and services to its customers nationwide.

RT1 has welcomed three additional major German payment market players - Deutsche Bank, DZ BANK and Commerzbank - since November 2018. This has increased to more than 1,700 the number of PSPs in Germany that are addressable via RT1, including the German cooperative sector connected via DZ BANK. The new participants joined UniCredit AG, Hanseatic Bank and the two Landesbanken Helaba and LBBW, which were already active in RT1; the two latter have been connecting the German savings banks sector to the EBA CLEARING system via their payments hubs since mid-2018. Additional German PSPs are scheduled to connect to RT1 in the next few months.

These recent developments in Germany tie in with instant payment roll-out activities of other communities and individual institutions across Europe. In addition to Germany, the ramp-up at country level, as witnessed by RT1, has been gaining steam in Italy, Spain, the Baltics and Austria in particular. As a result, the total number of transactions processed in RT1 tripled from 5 to 15 million between late October 2018 and late February 2019. These 15 million instant payments, of which over 99% were settled and thus final within less than three seconds, had a total value of over EUR 8 billion.

“Around 900 cooperative banks in Germany have been reachable via Instant Payment since November 2018 and can receive SEPA Instant Credit Transfers. For DZ BANK, Instant Payments are a central building block in the payments business, which is why we are working intensively on active reachability: in the course of this spring, about 30 million customers of the cooperative banks will be able to initiate real-time payments,” said Jürgen Kaczmarek, Head of Operations Management, Payments & Accounts, DZ BANK AG.

“From our point of view, market penetration is crucial for instant payments. It takes quite a few participating institutions to ensure that customers get the money in their accounts within a few seconds. The number of banks offering the service is now sufficiently high for customers to be able to use it at a large scale. Customers of Commerzbank can receive payments in real time as of now,” said Stefan Wloch, Managing Director, Group Services Banking Operations at Commerzbank AG.

“Thanks to the tremendous support of our multinational user community, RT1 currently reaches practically all PSPs actively using the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer Scheme. That corresponds to 60% of all PSPs operating in SEPA.

The substantial onboarding of German banks onto RT1 is a spectacular example confirming that the instant payment take-up across Europe has been making great strides. We are happy to provide a resilient backbone for the processing of these soaring transaction volumes,” said Hays Littlejohn, CEO of EBA CLEARING.

RT1 provides payment service providers in the Single Euro Payments Area with a real-time payment processing facility operating around the clock on any day of the year.
The EBA CLEARING platform went live as the first pan-European real-time payment infrastructure system on the launch date of the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) Scheme of the European Payments Council in November 2017.

RT1 participation is open to any account-servicing payment provider (AS-PSP) adhering to the EPC SCT Inst Scheme; the system currently reaches over 2,300 institutions. Different options to interact with the system allow any type of user access to the RT1 platform.

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