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Instant Payments: Why Covid-19 is Bringing the Roadmap Forward

Instant Payments: Why Covid-19 is Bringing the Roadmap Forward

Business continuity has never been a more valuable asset for financial institutions.

Fundamental changes to 'business as usual' as a result of Covid-19 have exposed the need for resilient, reliable, and efficient systems to maintain essential payment services and protect the interests of all ecosystem participants, from consumers to the largest corporations.

At the same time, in the lead up to the European Single Market Infrastructure Gateway's (ESMIG) 'big bang' migration at the end of 2021, EU financial institutions are understandably consumed with ensuring that they are appropriately equipped to manage the systemic changes the migration will demand. While ESMIG provides a hard deadline to work towards, every institution bears unique targets and objectives, making the structure and execution of these plans more challenging than ever.

In this context, it might seem that the adoption of real-time or instant payments—immediate settlement of account-to-account payments on a 24x7 basis, domestically and cross-border—should reasonably take a back seat to more pressing existential concerns. After all, while the ESMIG migration is mandatory, instant payments are not, and financial institutions could be forgiven for focusing solely on compliance-driven projects at the expense of optional ones.

This impact study will outline why the reverse is true: that in fact, the move to instant payments takes on an increased urgency in the coronavirus age. It explores the benefits of instant payments for banks' internal operations as well as their customer value propositions. It also examines shifting approaches to business case development, and the increasing relevance of cloud and as-a-service models for instant payment processing.

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