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ECB takes steps to ensure pan-European reach of instant payments

Tuesday 4th August, 2020

The European Central Bank (ECB) has taken significant steps to support the full deployment of instant payments across the euro area, in line with the European Commission.

ECB said, Pan-European instant payments can be ensured by the end of 2021. All Payment Service Providers (PSPs) which have adhered to the SCT Inst scheme and are reachable in TARGET2 should also become reachable in a TIPS central bank money liquidity account, either as a participant or as reachable party (i.e. through the account of another PSP which is a participant).

At the same time, all Automated Clearing Houses (ACHs) offering instant payment services should migrate their technical accounts from TARGET2 to TIPS. The Eurosystem will discuss with ACHs and PSPs whether a migration window is needed for this purpose.

This will help enable some of the following:

  • The possibility of instant payments across the currency area.

  • PSPs to comply with the SEPA regulation:
    PSPs which have adhered to SCT Inst will now be able to comply with their legal obligations.

  • Make reachability a commodity, reflecting the fact that it is a legal requirement:
    Not only would TIPS benefit from 100% pan-European reachability, but all ACHs competing in the
    provision of instant payment services would automatically make this part of their service offer.

The ultimate goal is to enable European citizens to make electronic payments in euro from and to any country in real time, both in physical shops and online, ECB said.

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