On 11 November 2023, the Council of the EU announced that it had reached a provisional political agreement with the European Parliament on the instant payments proposal, which will improve the availability of instant payment options in euro to consumers and businesses in the EU and EEA countries. The initiative comes in the context of the completion of the Capital Markets Union. The proposal, a draft Regulation on instant credit transfers in euro, was originally published by the European Commission in October 2022. It amends the 2012 Regulation on the single euro payments area by adding to it specific provisions for instant credit transfers in euro.
The new rules will 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 mobilize cash-flows will bring benefits for citizens and companies and allow for innovative added value services.
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.
The European Parliament has also issued a press release noting that the provisional political agreement will now have to be approved by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, followed by a plenary vote. The Council also has to approve the deal, before it can come into force.