EBA Clearing announced today that RT1 now counts six participants from Finland: Bonum Bank, Central Bank of Savings Banks Finland, Danske Bank A/S Finland Branch, OP Corporate Bank, Svenska Handelsbanken and Nordea Bank.
Most of these banks joined the first pan-European instant payment system in April and early May 2019. With the connection of these major players, RT1 has brought its reach across Finland to nearly full coverage. Further banks from the Finnish community are expected to follow over the next few months.
Europe-wide, RT1 has seen a significant ramp-up since its launch in November 2017. Banking communities in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain and now Finland, as well as individual institutions from other European countries, have connected to the platform since its go-live in November 2017. RT1 currently has 47 participants from 19 different countries and extends reach to over 2,300 participants across Europe. Since its launch, the system has processed a total of more than 20 million transactions and currently handles one million transactions per week on average.
“This spring is an important step in the evolution of the services provided by the Finnish financial sector: Together we bring instant payments to Finland. With six Finnish banks already connected to RT1 and more to follow, an important foundation is in place for offering Finnish customers high-quality instant payment services. Market penetration is of course the most important factor when it comes to SEPA instant credit transfers.
Nordea has, as the first bank in Finland, been live with inbound RT1 payments since June 2018 but now that more Finnish banks are joining, we prepare to launch our outbound payments as well. We think 2019 will be the year when the critical mass of payments will move into RT1 and soon we will see legacy infrastructures becoming obsolete but also volumes moving from SEPA Classic to RT1. At Nordea we are excited to be part of this journey as we believe instant payments and the instant payment experience will be a decisive service going forward,” said Niklas Lemberg, Head of Payment Industry, Nordea Bank Abp.
“At OP we believe that SEPA instant payment is the new normal and will quickly replace multiple other payment products. The increased speed and availability of instant payments will not only benefit our consumer clients but will also have a significant positive impact on the liquidity management and cash flow of our corporate customers as the cash is credited to their accounts immediately and 24/7.
By updating and reviewing their internal processes, corporates can reach the full benefit of real-time payments. At OP we encourage our corporate customers to rethink if they could, for example, direct incoming payment messages to their warehouse or customer service to be able to capture the whole potential of the real-time payment. Next to current products, OP is developing API-based services which will create further possibilities for corporates to use the real-time data more efficiently,” said Jari Jaulimo, Head of Transaction Banking, OP Corporate Bank.
“Since the launch of the SCT Inst Scheme, RT1 has been firmly positioned at the heart of the pan-European instant payment ramp-up – thanks to the strong buy-in of our multinational user community. We are very pleased to see the significant onboarding of Finnish banks to RT1, which creates the necessary market coverage for a large-scale roll-out of end-customer products and services. We are happy to provide the resilient rails for these developments and will continue to iterate fast to keep the system evolving in line with user needs: we have just put in place our fourth release to quickly adapt to evolving user needs, and there is another to come in November.” 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. Different options to interact with the system allow any type of user access to the RT1 platform in the way that best suits their needs.