Payments in Europe gets boost as European Parliament approves credit transfer law

European lawmakers have adopted new instant credit transfer rules for consumers and businesses across the European Union.

The European Parliament said that the measure was adopted with 599 votes to 7 and 35 abstentions. The text, already agreed with EU member states, updates the current Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) rules.

The new regulation will require banks and other payment service providers (PSPs) to ensure credit transfers are affordable and immediately processed.

Under the new rules, money must arrive into the recipient’s account within ten seconds regardless of the day or hour, and the payer should be also informed within ten seconds of whether or not the funds transferred have been made available to the intended recipient.

The rule will also apply to member states whose currency is not the euro. There will be a special derogation from making the payment within ten seconds for such accounts outside business hours, given possible concerns about access to liquidity in euro, a statement from the European Parliament said.

The European Parliament added that PSPs should immediately, and without any additional charges or fees, provide a service to verify the identity of the recipient as part of their robust and up-to-date fraud detection and prevention measures. PSPs should also allow their clients to set a maximum amount for instant credit transfers in euro, which could be easily modified prior to the next transfer.

PSPs offering instant credit transfers should also verify whether any of their clients are subject to sanctions or other restrictive measures related to money laundering and terrorist financing.

The new rules enter into force 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal. PSPs located in the euro area will have 9 months to be ready to receive instant credit transfers in euro and 18 months to send them.

Michiel Hoogeveen, the lead MEP said: “The Instant Payments Regulation marks the long-awaited modernisation of payments in the European single market. Customers can now say goodbye to the inconvenience of waiting two or three working days to access their money. We are delivering on something that people and businesses truly care about: transferring money within 10 seconds at any time of the day.”



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