15th March 2021

Bank payments kick into high gear

Banks are introducing a new standard for interbank payments: Instant Payments.

Instant Payments – the big revolution in the payment industry?

Let’s just say that Spuerkeess customers have known about instant payments for years now. At least when it comes to making transfers from one Spuerkeess current account to another, which take place immediately, 24/7, 365 days a year. Eurotransfert credit transfers make up the vast majority of credit payments carried out by our customers. The real novelty for our customers will be expanding their options to include instant credit transfers in EUR to third-party banks, provided that the banks in question can be accessed in the instant payment system (TIPS or RT1).

So the big revolution is that banks in SEPA Single Euro Payments Area member countries  (EU, United Kingdom, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Switzerland  Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and Vatican) have created and adopted a common system making it possible to perform EUR-denominated credit transfers in real time between them.

What do customers need to do for their payments to be executed in real time?

Actually, nothing will change for our customers. They simply enter their Eurotransfert credit transfers as usual, via S-Net or S-Net Mobile, and the system automatically detects if the order can be processed as an “Instant Payment.” If so, the beneficiary’s account is credited in less than 10 seconds, even at night, on week-ends and on bank holidays.

There has to be a charge for such speedy payments?

Not with Spuerkeess! For us, it’s the standard.

Unlike some competitors, Spuerkeess has decided to offer this service free of charge to all its retail customers.

In other words, there will be no additional cost charged on top of the applicable Eurotransfert fee. Customers with the Axxess or Zebra banking package enjoy free Eurotransfert electronic credit transfers, and the same is true for instant payments.

Besides speed, is there any other difference between a traditional Eurotransfert credit transfer and an "Instant Payment" credit transfer?

Yes, in addition to being able to carry out credit transfers 24/7, 365 days a year, there are other limits set on amounts. For Spuerkeess customers, the cap for Eurotransfert outgoing credit transfers is EUR 250,000. However, an outgoing Eurotransfert credit transfer is only eligible for “Instant Payment” execution if it is limited to EUR 100,000. This limit, which is standard for the system established by all participating banks, applies to incoming and outgoing payments.

Can you name examples of everyday scenarios where Instant Payments give added value to your customers?

There are many examples. I can think of paying a bill at the last minute or settling a negative balance on a current account. Or of payments that are too high to be made with a payment card, for example when buying a car. I imagine being at open-air markets, flea markets or fairs when the merchant does not accept payment cards, but has web banking access.

Online purchases with prior payment via credit transfer are interesting cases. Orders can be shipped up to two days earlier, i.e. the maximum execution period for a traditional Eurotransfert credit transfer. And let’s not forget payments between individuals in order to split a check at a restaurant, give children their allowances, etc., and the instant availability of Digicash payments.