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Instant Payments

Superfast Payments Soon for Everyone

Instant Payments

Until recently, transferring money from bank to bank required a wait of two to three working days, later reduced to just one business day. Today, in select banks, it takes only seconds. In February 2022, Slovenská sporiteľňa, VÚB, Tatra banka, and later J&T Bank and Fio Bank, joined the instant payment scheme.

This means if you send money from one of these banks to another within this aforementioned “group”, the money will arrive in seconds, even outside business hours, on weekends, or holidays—24/7/365. Instant payments also work for international transactions within the Eurozone, provided the foreign bank supports such payments.

The maximum allowed transaction amount is 100,000 euros, but banks may reduce this amount.

The National Bank of Slovakia, as part of the Eurosystem, provides the Slovak banking market with the instant payment settlement service within the TIPS (Target Instant Payment Settlement) payment system, operated by the Eurosystem.

From January next year, all banks will join the instant payment system, and all clients will be able to fully benefit from instant payments.

Banks Had to Prepare for Instant Payments

For instant payments to work smoothly, banks had to adjust their banking systems to be able to receive and send instant payments within a 10-second time limit.

The benefits for their clients, besides the speed of sending and receiving payments, include that such payments cannot cost more than the previously “standard” transfer. Additionally, until now, the implementation of instant payments by banks was voluntary.

Instant Payments in All Banks from Next Year

Payment service providers based in the Eurozone and providing standard SEPA payments in euros will be required to:

  • Start offering the instant payment reception service by 9 January 2025 at the latest.
  • Start offering the instant payment sending service by 9 October 2025 at the latest.
  • In other countries outside the Eurozone, instant payments in euros will be available two years later on accounts that support euro payments.
Slovaks Have Immediately Taken to Instant Payments

The number and value of instant payments in Slovakia are continuously growing. People in Slovakia are increasingly using their mobile phones, watches, payment cards, and internet banking for payments.

For instance, at the beginning of the year (1Q24), the share of instant payments out of all completed transactions in Slovakia was 14.92%, and this share is expected to grow further.

Banks Do Not Charge Higher Fees for Instant Payments

The fee policy of banks is part of the business strategy of each commercial bank. Regarding the provision of instant payments, it is important to note that Slovak banks decided to support the use of instant payments right from their launch in 2022 by not introducing higher fees for processing instant payments compared to regular payments. This means that our banks already meet the requirement to maintain the same fee levels for providing instant payments.

More information

Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council – Instant Credit Transfers in Euro

Blog (in slovak)