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ECB to build eurozone-wide instant payment system By Tom Fairless

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The European Central Bank said it would build an instant-payment system spanning the entire eurozone that allows firms and citizens to transfer money in seconds, in an effort to boost financial integration across the 19-nation currency bloc.

The system, scheduled to start operating in November next year, will reduce the time needed for payments between bank accounts from up to one day to mere seconds, the ECB said Thursday. It will be available around the clock, 365 days a year.

As such, it could pose a serious challenge to existing payment systems such as debit cards.

The move by the ECB aims to address the absence of a rapid-payments system that spans the entire region, from tiny Baltic countries such as Estonia to Greece and Spain. It will ensure "that the demand for instant payments is met at European level and further facilitate the integration of the euro area," the ECB said.

 

 

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