Instant Payments Are Coming to Europe: How Are Banks and Corporates Coping?


The implementation of a standardised European instant payments system is seen as crucial to ensuring that Europe's payments landscape does not become fragmented.

Such a system will provide corporates with access to greater liquidity, faster transitions between payment authorisation and service provision, and cash flows that are more transparent. Ecommerce, in particular, stands to benefit as faster payments remove the time delay between consumers authorising a transaction and confirmation of payment from the bank.

For banks responsible for providing these instant payment facilities there are, however, considerable challenges. Instant payments will require moving from batches of credit transfers to a system where a single instant credit transfer has to be received, accepted, validated, compliance-checked, processed by the clearing and settlement mechanism, sent to the beneficiary bank, and processed and posted to the beneficiary's account - all in a matter of seconds.

UniCredit and other banks are rising to the challenge, working with partners such as EBA Clearing - the pan-European payment infrastructure solutions provider - to develop and implement a simple and efficient clearing and settlement system for instant payments.