On 7 February 2024, the European Parliament issued a press release stating that MEPs had adopted the draft Regulation amending the Single Euro Payments Area Regulation and the Cross-Border Payments Regulation as regards instant credit transfers in euro.

The press release goes on to state that MEPs have adopted the new rules to ensure transferred funds arrive immediately into the bank accounts of retail customers and businesses across the EU. The new Regulation’s objective is to ensure that retail clients and businesses, in particular SMEs, will not need to wait for money. Banks and other payment service providers (PSPs)will have to ensure that credit transfers are affordable and immediately processed, which in turn will also improve the safety of transfers.

The press release adds that to guarantee safety, PSPs should have in place robust and current fraud detection and prevention measures, as well as strong identification verification services. As an additional safeguard, PSPs should allow clients to set a maximum amount for instant credit transfers in euro. Where a PSP does not fulfil these fraud prevention duties, a client can demand to be compensated by the service provider, as outlined by the new rules.

Charges applied by a PSP in respect to instant credit transfer transactions in euro cannot be higher than the charges applied to ‘non-instant’ credit transfer transactions in euro.

Michiel Hoogeveen, the lead MEP, said: “The Instant Payments Regulation marks the long-awaited modernisation of payments in the European single market. Customers can now say goodbye to the inconvenience of waiting two or three working days to access their money. We are delivering on something that people and businesses truly care about: transferring money within 10 seconds at any time of the day.”

Next steps The draft Regulation enters into force 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal. Member States will have 12 months to apply the Regulation.