Europeans can expect great things in 2018, with the launch of a new European payment system available to all account holders in Europe. Money transfers will be possible 365 days a year and will be able to be completed from anywhere in Europe within a maximum of 10 seconds. Instant Payments should be available not only via online banking but also at POS in retail outlets, online and via smartphone apps. Data protection is also guaranteed. All in all, the future looks extremely promising.
Money in the account instantly? It sounds great at first. However, Instant Payments present enormous demands on the banking system, merchants and the way they are interconnected. For Instant Payments, settlement has to happen straight away and the banks’ IT systems will need to be completely updated, which will swallow up vast amounts of money.
Although Instant Payments are seen as the next big step in payment processing, there are nonetheless still a few areas of criticism. First of all, Instant Payments – as currently conceived – are applicable only to purely intra-European payments. Moreover, instant debiting has not only its champions but also its critics, who bemoan the lack of a credit function.