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Instant Payments: The Next Step Towards a Harmonised Europe

Instant Payments: The Next Steps Towards a Harmonised Europe

by Markus Meissner, Head of Cash Management International Sales Germany, UniCredit, and Gerhard Bystricky, Head of Product Development Payments Germany, UniCredit

Following the ECB’s 2014 white paper calling for a standardised European system for instant payments, banks in Europe are now working to provide their clients with real-time payment facilities available all day, the whole year. It’s a move that’s set to bring greater levels of liquidity and efficiency to clients, while ensuring continued harmony throughout the European payments landscape.

Following on from the final implementation of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) in 2014, Europe is now set for another payments overhaul, as banks work to answer the ECB’s call for a standardised pan-European instant payments system by November 2017.

With developments such as straight-through processing facilitating drastically faster and more efficient transactions, instant payments promise to bring Europe’s payments landscape in line with both the enhanced capabilities of modern digital technology and the growing expectations of consumers – executing all eligible transactions in real time, regardless of when they are initiated.