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The European Instant Payments mandate: what does that mean to you?
EU to propose banks receiving mandatory instant payments in euros
One more mandate?
This mandate is apart of the EU’s attempt to modernize the way Europeans pay, allowing Europeans to transfer money in seconds, at any time of the day, 365 days a year. Benefits would include easily accessible cross-border payments, promoting a more dynamic pan-European payments market.
The reasons for the introduction
Europe has seen huge perspectives in the way consumers pay since the pandemic started. Banks were inspired to enhance their mobile offerings beyond banking functions to offer additional services. The accelerating adoption of contactless and mobile banking, more cashless payments and cashless in-store customer experiences have been a welcome change in recent years. This has been seen through the opening of cashierless Amazon Fresh stores in Spain, France and Italy where customers can simply walk out the door and their payment is accepted.
Where getting credit used to be a slow process, companies like Klarna have popularized the buy now, pay later (BNPL) concept. This real-time credit is driving preference for specific digital channels and retailers and has unlocked purchasing power for younger generations that was not previously possible, unlocking more future economic prosperity.
Despite this boom, ACI Worldwide’s Prime Time for Real-Time report reported that in 2021, real-time cross-account payments accounted for just 6.5% of all electronic payments. Europe has a long way to go compared to its neighbors on MEASA, for example, where 41.3% of electronic payments in 2021 were made in real time. The report found that real-time payments are the key to unlocking economic growth, so now is the time to digitize them.
Despite the fact that SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) is already fully set up as an infrastructure in Europe for real-time payments, adoption has been slow. Where previously sending euros across borders in real time was expensive, the new mandate will make real-time transfers as simple as other popular payment methods such as card. The customer will be able to easily choose this option and not be inhibited or discouraged from selecting it.
Europe can look to learn from markets like India, China, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, where we have seen world-leading growth in real-time payments. Through these markets, Europe can learn that by embracing digitalization, payment volumes will increase.
When merchants accept mobile wallet and QR code payments in place of cash or card payments, services become more convenient and accessible, meeting the needs and changing expectations of citizens.
Consumers are demanding convenience in the way they pay, and it’s those who offered it in advance that have stood out. We’ve seen this with Klarna’s rapid growth, offering real-time credit with convenience.
Our financial tomorrow
The European Parliament will have the final say on whether this instant payment mandate will pass, but it seems likely and will certainly change the European payments ecosystem. Banks transacting in the euro zone should start preparing now, and consumers can look forward to a future of seamless digital experiences and convenience.
Already supporting both classic SEPA and SEPA Instant payment methods, Quppy is providing the whole range of financial instruments available within the EU zone for the convenience of its customers.