" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> European Parliament Votes to Boost Instant Payments in the EU
Saturday, March 02, 2024

European Parliament Votes to Boost Instant Payments in the EU and EEA, Urging Banks to Comply

Following a significant vote by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) yesterday evening, measures are being put in place to enhance accessibility to instant payments across the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). This development has prompted a six-month compliance deadline for banks and financial institutions to offer customers instant payments at a cost equal to or lower than standard credit transfers. Craig Ramsey, Head of Real-Time Payments at ACI Worldwide, has shared his insights with FF News:

“Yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament to update the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) legislation is a significant step towards finalizing legislation on instant payments for customers in the EU and EEA.”

This decision marks a watershed moment for the payments sector in Europe, reducing fragmentation and bolstering consumer security. It also enhances the competitiveness of the region’s payments industry, particularly following the recent launch of FedNow in the United States. The implementation of instant payments across Europe will vastly improve customer experiences when conducting transactions, especially considering the cost-of-living pressures. It will enable individuals to access their funds more quickly, mitigating losses caused by transfer delays and late payment penalties. Businesses will also reap the benefits of these measures, as they will enjoy improved cash flow management and reduced operational costs. Furthermore, banks offering instant payment services will gain a competitive advantage by introducing innovative products for their customers.

“European-wide adoption of instant payments will enhance the experience of customers transacting across the continent, particularly amidst cost-of-living pressures, enabling them to access their money more quickly, while minimizing loss from transfer delays and late payment penalties. Businesses will benefit from these measures with improved cash flow management and reduced operational costs. There will also be a knock-on positive for banks who provide this offering, enabling them to gain competitive advantage by introducing new innovative products for customers.”

This vote triggers a countdown for payment service providers to prepare themselves for the secure and safe provision of instant payments. Although the legislation has been anticipated for some time, several banks have been slow to make the necessary changes. As a result, they must now accelerate their plans to ensure compliance before the deadline expires.

“The vote starts the countdown clock for payment service providers to ready themselves to provide the secure and safe provision of instant payments. And while the legislation has beenpaytech anticipated for some time, many banks have been slow to make the changes required and will now need to accelerate their plans to become compliant ahead of the deadline.”

The MEPs’ decision ushers in a new era of payment efficiency and convenience for individuals and businesses throughout the EU and EEA. As the deadline approaches, financial institutions must prioritize adapting their systems and processes to meet the requirements set forth by the legislation. Failure to comply within the given timeframe may lead to missed opportunities and hinder the provision of optimal services to customers. The European Parliament’s initiative demonstrates a commitment to fostering a more integrated and advanced payments landscape, bringing Europe on par with global counterparts.

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