On 26 October 2022, the European Commission adopted a legislative proposal to make instant payments in euro available to all citizens and businesses holding a bank account in the EU and EEA countries. The proposal aims to ensure that instant payments in euro are affordable, secure, and processed without hindrance across the EU.
The proposal, which amends and modernises the 2012 Regulation on the Single Euro Payments Regulation, consists of four requirements regarding euro instant payments:
- Making instant euro payments universally available, with an obligation on EU payment service providers that already offer credit transfers in euro to offer also their instant version within a defined period.
- Making instant euro payments affordable, with an obligation on payment service providers to ensure that the price charged for instant payments in euro does not exceed the price charged for traditional, non-instant credit transfers in euro.
- Increasing trust in instant payments, with an obligation on providers to verify the match between the bank account number (IBAN) and the name of the beneficiary provided by the payer in order to alert the payer of a possible mistake or fraud before the payment is made.
- Removing friction in the processing of instant euro payments while preserving the effectiveness of screening of persons that are subject to EU sanctions, through a procedure whereby payment service providers will verify at least daily their clients against EU sanctions lists, instead of screening all transactions one by one.
The proposal fulfils a key commitment in the Commission’s 2020 Retail Payments Strategy, which aimed for the full uptake of instant payments in the EU. It contains phased implementation deadlines, differentiated for the different components of the initiative and between euro area and non-euro area Member States, to allow adequate implementation time and full proportionality.