EPC launched the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer – A First Overview

On November 30, 2016 the European Payments Council (EPC) announced the launch of the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme. SEPA is the abbreviation for “Single Euro Payments Area”. European Payment Service Providers (PSPs) now have one year to get ready to process the first SCT Inst transactions in November 2017. The SCT Inst allows PSPs to propose innovative, digital, and fast payment solutions to their customer.

The launch of the SCT Inst scheme illustrates that we have entered a new era in payments, based on speed and innovation. Digital oriented and available 24/7/365, SCT Inst transactions will bring customers convenience and the certainty that money has been moved instantly.

Javier Santamaría, Chair of the EPC

What is SEPA Instant Credit Transfer Scheme?

In a nutshell (see EPC’s infographic and Q&A for more information):

Euro Transactions

The SCT Inst scheme is enabling individuals, businesses, corporates and administrations to make instant euro credit transfers between accounts across 34 European countries.

Initial maximum duration of Ten seconds and maximum amount of 15,000 euros

A SCT Inst will allow the transfer of money, initially up to 15,000 euro, to another account in less than 10 seconds, at any time and any day of the year, including weekends and holidays. Presently, it can take up to one day. Individual scheme participants may however, agree bilaterally or multilaterally on more ambitions targets regarding the duration and amount of an SCT Inst transaction.

24/7 Availability

The SCT Inst will be available 24/7 on each calendar day of the year.

Optional Scheme

The SCT Inst scheme is optional. PSPs operating within SEPA will not be obliged to adhere to the SCT Inst scheme. If however, a PSP wishes to adhere, it has to be at least reachable in the role of beneficiary bank.

What are the Scheme Rules?

The EPC published the first version of the SCT Inst Rulebook following a public consultation organised earlier in 2016. The 2017 SCT Inst Rulebook version 1.0 takes effect on 21 November 2017 at 08:00 CET and remains in effect until November 2019.

In which countries is the SCT Inst scheme available?

The SCT Inst scheme will go live in November 2017. It is open to PSPs in the countries that are part of the geographical scope of the SEPA Credit Transfer and Direct Debit schemes (= 28 EU Member States plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Monaco and San Marino). However, the actual lists of countries and scheme participants will depend on the individual PSPs’ commercial and implementation plans.

What are the differences between the SCT rulebook and the SCT Inst Rulebook?

To a large extent, the SCT Inst Rulebook reused the SCT Rulebook except where there is a need for a deviation due to the instant nature of the payment.

How can a PSP use the SCT Inst scheme?

PSPs willing to adhere to the SCT Inst scheme (at least as a beneficiary PSP of an SCT Inst transaction, on behalf of their customers) will have to fill in the EPC adherence form, available in January 2017 on the EPC website. An annual scheme participation fee will be announced in due course.

PSPs have one year to get ready for the development of their service offering and for processing SCT Inst transactions.

To be continued…

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