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EU Commission: Real-time transfer required for banks in the EU

EU Commission: Real-time transfer required for banks in the EU

The EU Commission wants to offer immediate payments in euros to all banks. Every bank in the European Union must offer customers the option of express transfers, which must be no more expensive than traditional transfers, the Commission requires.

Austria. All citizens and businesses in the European Union or the European Economic Area (EEA) with an account in the future should receive immediate payments in euros, according to a legislative proposal presented by the European Union Commission on Wednesday.

This means that fast, round-the-clock transfers must be made within a few seconds (“instant pay”), and no higher fees should be incurred for these instant EUR payments compared to traditional EUR transfers, which are free in Austria. In this way, penalties from late transfers can also be avoided. Banks will also become more competitive and will receive incentives for new services, such as mobile apps.

Alerts in case of attempted fraud

According to the draft, service providers should also check for instant payments whether the information provided by the customer on the account number (IBAN) and the name of the recipient match. This way, the customer should be able to let them know of an error or attempted fraud before they pay. The EU Commission pledges to simplify the application of sanctions: it is based on a procedure in which service providers compare their customers with EU sanctions lists at least once a day. This means that it is no longer necessary to examine all transactions individually.

Only 11 percent in real time

The Commission had already announced the initiative in principle two years ago as part of a comprehensive financial strategy package and also received the support of the Council of Ministers. In fact, there were supposed to be fast transfers everywhere in the EU by the end of 2021. Until then, it was said that the standard introduced in 2017 for SEPA transfers in seconds had not yet been implemented across the board by banks. and payment service providers.

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As before, only 11% of all transfers in euros are made in real time. Europe lags behind in the digital world. In some EU countries, the offer of instant payments is close to zero, while in other places such payments are often more expensive than traditional transfers. However, UNHCR continues to assign an important role to cash payments. However, in the fight against money laundering, you push for a maximum of 10,000 euros.

The obligation to receive immediate payments in euros is set to take effect six months after the legislation enters into force. The Authority does not believe that financial institutions will generally raise remittance costs based on the new requirements.

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