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Q&A on the Sepa Instant Credit Transfer scheme

The European Payments Council (EPC) has published questions and answers that address some of the main considerations on the Sepa Instant Credit Transfer scheme, which is currently up for public consultation (ending 10 July 2016).

The document covers 14 of the most common queries about the scheme, from why it's needed and its main features, to the possibility of other national and local instant payments in euro in future and how the scheme will evolve in the long term.

Some of the features and facts behind the Sepa Instant payments scheme are outlined in the Q&A as follows:

  • The SCT Inst scheme will go live in November 2017.
  • Whereas funds take up to one business day to be available on a payee’s account when a normal SCT is used, the initial target processing time for an SCT Inst transaction and for making funds available to the beneficiary will be 10 seconds.
  • Clearing and settlement of SCT Inst won't take place in batches, as with normal Sepa Credit Transfer payments, but will be processed transaction by transaction as soon as they reach the payment service provider (PSP) system.
  • The scheme participants (PSPs) will be able to change the maximum limits for SCT Instant transactions. For example, if PSPs are willing to propose to their customers SCT Inst transactions of a maximum amount higher than 15,000 euros, and/or are technically able to process SCT Inst transactions in less than 10 seconds, then they can agree bilaterally or multilaterally to change these parameters for SCT Inst transactions exchanged among themselves.
  • The SCT Inst scheme will follow the same transparent change management cycle as the existing schemes: a call for change requests will be organised (for the first time in 2017), followed by a public consultation in 2018, and the publication of an updated rulebook effective in 2019.
  • The SCT Inst scheme will be based on ISO 20022 XML messages.
  • The procedure for recalling SCT Inst transactions is identical to the one for SCT transactions.
  • The payment accounts held at PSPs operating within SEPA for sending or receiving an SCT Inst transaction do not have to be denominated in euro. Any currency conversion is executed in the originator bank or beneficiary bank and is not governed by the SCT Inst scheme.  

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This item appears in the following sections:
Payments - Receipts
SEPA Payment Structure & Services
Payments - Disbursements
International Payments
Urgent/Instant .Payments

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