News 04/10/15

Demand grows for faster payments in Estonia

Estonia is moving together with the rest of the euro area firmly in the direction of interbank payments taking just seconds and being made on national holidays and weekends as well, Bank of Estonia Deputy Governor Madis Müller said at a debate on instant payments held at the central bank on Tuesday.

“There is certainly demand in Estonia for instant payments, as surveys show that 70% of people in Estonia want interbank transfers to be faster than they currently are,” Müller explained according to a Bank of Estonia press release. “More than one third want money to reach the recipient in less than five minutes.”

He noted that being a small country gives Estonia certain advantages. SEB is currently the only bank that offers instant payments to its clients, but should just five banks join the instant payment system, it would be possible to make almost all interbank payments instantly.

580 banks in Europe have joined the instant payments system, but the European Payments Council estimates that the majority of banks in the euro area will be offering their clients instant payments by 2020.

All banks and payment service providers have been able to join the pan-European instant payment system since the end of November 2017, at which time SEB was the first bank in Estonia to roll out the service for its clients.