Payment service providers (PSPs) in Europe are being urged to sign up to the Single Euro Payments Area Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme, following its launch last week.
Created by the European Payments Council (EPC), the scheme allows the electronic transfer of funds up to a maximum amount of €15,000 within Europe. Payments are completed in less than ten seconds, at any time of the day, 365 days a year.
At the moment, 585 firms – or 15 percent of all European PSPs – are signed up to the scheme in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Spain.
Customers of these providers can now make and receive instant credit transfers denominated in euros within their own countries and also across borders, starting with these eight nations.
It is hoped that SCT Inst will deliver maximum convenience for individual consumers, businesses and organizations. Examples of how it could function include someone needing to urgently send money to a relative or make a payment that requires on-the-spot settlement.
The EPC said this is “only the beginning of the European journey towards instant payments”. More PSPs are expected to sign up to the initiative in 2018 and 2019, with the geographical scope potentially expanding to encompass more than 30 countries.
While the scheme is voluntary, EPC chair Javier Santamaria urged payment providers to commit to it if they want to deliver the best possible service to their customers.
“With its numerous advantages, the SCT Inst scheme fully anchors European payments in the anywhere, anytime digital world,” he said.
“I can only encourage PSPs who have not joined SCT Inst yet to do it as soon as possible. This enhanced European payments integration will have tremendous benefits for European consumers and businesses alike.”
The scheme could go through some significant changes over the coming years, with aspects such as the maximum transaction amount due to be regularly reviewed.
Image credit: iStock/Rostislav_Sedlacek