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27 November 2015

The EPC publishes its proposal for the design of a pan-European instant credit transfer scheme

The EPC proposal covers the general features of the future SCT Inst scheme, which will be used for instant credit transfers in euro in SEPA countries. It is a major milestone in the development of instant payments in euro across Europe.

The European Payments Council (EPC) proposal for the design of an SCT Inst scheme was submitted on 26 November 2015 to the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB), a high-level body chaired by the European Central Bank, and approved. It is an essential step for the payment community, aimed to respond to market needs.

Instant payments are available 24/7/365, processed within seconds, and, amongst other benefits, they enable suppliers to receive the funds as soon as they sell their goods and services. Although there are a few national instant payment solutions in SEPA countries, there is currently no pan-European scheme enabling instant credit transfers in euro across SEPA. To avoid a fragmentation of solutions, and in line with the European institutions’ wish to further harmonise payment methods and remove national barriers, the EPC developed the proposal for the design of an SCT Inst scheme, at the ERPB’s request.

The proposal covers the general features of the SCT Inst scheme, which will be an optional scheme and based on the credit transfer payment instrument, for transactions in euro in the 34 SEPA countries. To make it as cost-efficient as possible for the scheme participants, it will have, where possible, the same foundations as the SEPA Credit Transfer scheme.

The EPC will now address the remaining open issues (such as the maximum number of seconds needed to process an SCT Inst transaction), in close dialogue with the payment stakeholders. It will also start developing the SCT Inst Rulebook and Implementation Guidelines (i.e. the more detailed business and technical rules). Actions under the responsibility of other parties (such as the clearing and settlement details) are expected to be carried out in parallel.

The target date for the publication of the SCT Inst scheme is November 2016, following a three-month public consultation. The scheme would enter into force in November 2017, to leave enough time for scheme participants to implement the changes in their organisations.

Press release

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