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EU prepares for SEPA Instant Credit Transfer

With five countries expected to adhere to the Instant Credit Transfer scheme, as well as 600 payment service providers, SCT Inst is expected to take off dramatically in the coming years.

The European Payment Council's (EPC’s) SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme, which is optional, will go live on 21 November this year and currently payment service providers (PSPs) from five countries (Austria, Spain, Finland, Italy and Latvia) are expected to adhere to SCT Inst by November. In an interview with the EPC, Jean-Yves Jacquelin, who chairs the EPC Scheme Evolution and Maintenance Working Group and is also a payments expert at Erste Bank Vienna, says that more than 600 PSPs are expected to voluntarily propose SCT Inst services by the end of November.

Seven large clearing and settlement mechanisms (CSMs) have already confirmed they will be able to support SCT Inst transactions from 21 November 2017 onwards. They are: EBA Clearing, EquensWorldline, Iberpay, ACH ICBPI, Lietuvos Bankas, Nets A/S and STET. More countries and more CSMs are expected to join SCT Inst in 2018.

Opportunity for success

Jacquelin expects the majority of EU member states and PSPs to offer SCT Inst services within three years of the scheme's launch – a goal he thinks will easily be reached. He goes further and says that, by 2022, the SCT Inst scheme could account for more than 50 per cent of SEPA credit transfer transactions, meaning that more than half of credit transfers done through the SEPA payment channels would be instant payments.

Jacquelin says: “It is not impossible; it will depend on how PSPs are positioning the instant payments ‘products’ and the channels at the disposal of customers for making instant payments, which must be mobile, easy and fast. The next challenge I see is a real opportunity for cooperation between fintechs and PSPs to make SCT Inst a success story.”

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