ESBG calls SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme a milestone for instant payments
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BRUSSELS, 22 November 2017 – The SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme created by the European Payments Council (EPC) is now live. As of yesterday, nearly 600 payment service providers (PSPs) from eight European countries are offering instant payment solutions based on the scheme. This is an important milestone for Europe's payments system.
How it works
The scheme allows the electronic transfer of money – currently up to €15,000 – progressively across Europe in less than ten seconds, at any time and on any day of the year, including weekends and holidays. The transactions covered by the scheme must be denominated in euros.
Nearly 15 percent of European PSPs already offer services based on SCT Inst - the 585 PSPs participating in the SCT Inst scheme are located in eight European countries: Austria, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Spain. Customers from these PSPs – individuals, businesses, corporations and administrations – can now make and receive instant euro credit transfers within their national borders as well as cross-border (starting with these eight countries), with the funds being immediately available.
SCT Inst offers an endless list of convenient uses for all segments of customers. It is especially highly convenient, for example, if an individual needs to urgently send money to a relative, or to pay for a product or service that requires on-the-spot settlement for example online commerce. With regular credit transfers, it can take up to one business day for the beneficiary to see the money in their account.
This is only the beginning of the European journey towards instant payments. The geographical scope of SCT Inst will progressively span over 34 European countries. More PSPs from major European countries are expected to join the scheme in 2018 and 2019. Among them, PSPs from Belgium, Finland, Germany, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden. What is more, the EPC will make the scheme evolve to better reflect market needs. This will be done in close dialogue with all payment stakeholders. For example, the maximum amount per transaction will be regularly reviewed starting from November 2018. An increased maximum amount will make the scheme more attractive for companies.
The SCT Inst scheme was created by the EPC in response to the Euro Retail Payments Board’s (ERPB) invitation at the end of 2015. Chaired by the European Central Bank, the ERPB is a high-level entity bringing together the supply and demand sides of payments. In close cooperation with the rest of the payment chain (technical players, representatives of customers, etc), the EPC created the scheme’s rulebook and implementation guidelines in just one year. This work was performed by the EPC Membership. Jean-Yves Jacquelin from ESBG member Erste Bank was deeply involved in the work.
The SCT Inst scheme is the fourth payment scheme made available by the EPC, after the SEPA Credit Transfer, the SEPA Direct Debit Core (for the general public), and the SEPA Direct Debit Business-to-Business schemes. These schemes – some of which are mandatory in the European Union – are used every day by Europeans and facilitate over 39 billion electronic transactions every year.
The EPC, of which ESBG is a member, has created an infographic highlighting the top ten benefits of the SCT Inst scheme. The EPC also created an infographic on the top 20 use-cases of the SCT Inst scheme which can be found here.