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European Council adopts regulation on instant payments

Friday 22nd March, 2024

On 26 February 2024, the European Council adopted a regulation that will make instant payments fully available in euro to consumers and businesses in the EU and in EEA countries.

The new regulations are planned to come into effect in just three weeks.

According to the Council, the new rules aim to improve the strategic autonomy of the European economic and financial sector as they will help reduce any excessive reliance on third-country financial institutions and infrastructures. Improving the possibilities to mobilise cash-flows will bring benefits for citizens and companies and allow for innovative added value services.

Payment service providers such as banks, which provide standard credit transfers in euro, will be required to offer the service of sending and receiving instant payments in euro. The charges that apply (if any) must not be higher than the charges that apply for standard credit transfers.

Under the new rules, instant payment providers will need to verify that the beneficiary’s IBAN and name match in order to alert the payer to possible mistakes or fraud before a transaction is made. This requirement will apply to regular transfers too.

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