International

SEPA Wide Instant Payments Gains (Some) Bank Support

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EBA Clearing, a Paris-based provider of pan-European payment infrastructure, announced yesterday (April 19) that it has the support of 40 financial institutions for the creation of its pan-Euro instant payments platform for Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) transactions.

EPA Clearing is owned and operated by 53 major banks across Europe and is currently attempting to overhaul the payments infrastructure across Europe in order to bring about faster payments across the region.

And while 40 banks sounds like a lot of support, SEPA consists of 28 member states of the EU, which means there are a whole lot more banks under SEPA that could be joining the plans — which means there’s still a long way to go for EBA Clearing to get more universal support. SEPA also has the four member states of the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Andorra, Monaco and San Marino.

To put it into context, according to its site: “SEPA is where more than 500 million citizens, over 20 million businesses and European public authorities can make and receive payments.”

Still, this recent announcement appears to be a start.

“Based on this support, the EBA Clearing Board has formally kicked off this development and implementation project. We now look forward to bringing our instant payment solution to life with the active contribution of the funding banks, for the benefit of the future user community and its customers,” said Erkki Poutiainen, chairman of EBA Clearing.

This platform will align with ISO 20022 messaging standards and the SCTInst Scheme being developed by the European Payments Council. The instant payments service is designed to be available to payment service providers across the EU.

And there are plans in the works for more payment service providers to get on board, its CEO said.

“Many more PSPs have already expressed their interest in using our service. We plan to make available the specifications for connecting to the new infrastructure to all interested institutions and other stakeholders this summer. This should give all future users that plan to go live when the EPC scheme is launched sufficient time to be able to connect to our system from the start,” said Hays Littlejohn, CEO of EBA Clearing.

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