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SEPA Instant Credit Transfer

Instant payments are electronic payments that are processed in real time, around the clock, every day of the year, with the money being available in the payee’s account within ten seconds.

The SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme and its operational rules were developed by the European Payments Council (EPC) on the basis of the EPC’s existing SEPA credit transfer (SCT) scheme. The SCT Inst scheme became operational in November 2017. SCT Inst payments can be made by all kinds of payers, from consumers to large enterprises.

They work like standard SCT payments except that the transfer of funds between scheme participants occurs within ten seconds and the amount of each transaction is capped at €100,000.

As a member of the Eurosystem, Národná banka Slovenska provides the Eurosystem-operated TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) service to the Slovak banking market.

TIPS is based on the SCT Inst scheme and was developed as an extension of TARGET2, the real-time gross settlement system owned and operated by the Eurosystem. TIPS settles payments in central bank money and currently only in euro.

Payment services providers participate in TIPS and SCT Inst currently on a voluntary basis.

In December 2019 Národná banka Slovenska and the Slovak Banking Association produced a National plan for the implementation of instant payments in the Slovak Republic , which sets a deadline and conditions for the implementation of SEPA instant payments in the domestic market.

In Slovakia the instant payments are provided to the clients by the following banks : Slovenská sporiteľňa, Tatrabanka, VÚB banka, J&T Banka and Fio banka.

The Regulation (EU) 2024/886 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 March 2024 amending Regulations (EU) No 260/2012 and (EU) 2021/1230 and Directives 98/26/EC and (EU) 2015/2366 as regards instant credit transfers in euro was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 19 March 2024. The regulation entered into force on 8 April 2024.

PSPs that offer to their PSUs a payment service of sending and receiving credit transfers shall offer to all of their PSUs a payment service of sending and receiving instant credit transfers.

The Payment service providers established in the euro area providing standard SEPA payments will be required to offer the payment service of instant payments receiving by 9 January 2025 at the latest and the payment service of instant payments sending by 9 October 2025 at the latest. In other non-euro area countries, instant payments in euro will be available two years later.

In addition to the obligation to send and receive instant payments, the new regulation also introduces other requirements linked to their provision.

The fees charged by a payment service provider to customers in relation to sending and receiving instant credit transfers shall not exceed the fees charged by that payment service provider when sending and receiving standard SEPA payments.

The introduction of instant payments also includes a new Verification of Payee service, which will be available to customers in the euro area from October 2025. The aim of this service is to contribute to greater payment security by verifying that the Payee’s account number (IBAN) matches the Payee’s name.