EU mandates instant payments from end 2024: early movers to gain advantage

In May 2023, the European Commission published a draft proposal to mandate the use of instant payments for all Euro transactions between member states into and out of the Euro area, including those EU members not currently using the Euro. Instant Euro transactions from Euro accounts are to be made available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

This draft law is expected to be placed before the European Parliament before May 2024 and, subject to ratification, will be implemented by the end of next year.

Jarkko Turunen, Head of Business Development and Product Management at Tietoevry Banking, explains why Nordic banks should see the new EU mandate for instant payments as an opportunity to gain first-mover advantage and market share.

For some time now, the technology has existed to enable instant payments across borders in the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) via schemes such as SCT-Inst (SEPA Instant Credit Transfers), which permits transfers between registered entities in under ten seconds to a value of up to €100,000.

However, take-up has been sluggish, with only 56% of Europe’s more than 5,500 payment service providers (PSPs) registering for SCT-Inst[1], and just 14% of all transfers by value using the scheme[2].

Adoption in the Nordics has been particularly slow – an unusual occurrence, given that Nordic banks are usually early adopters of new technologies and payment methods, from digital wallets to BankID and more.

There may be many reasons for this slow adoption, including Nordic players having invested heavily in migrating their existing systems to ISO 20022 compliance, a focus on the now-discontinued P27 project that promised instant cross-border payments for the Nordics, and more.

It’s also possible that Nordic banks were concerned about the maturity of their core systems regarding instantaneous payments, or indeed the anti-fraud capabilities of the SCT-Inst scheme.

It may even be that some were looking to benefit from holding their customers’ funds on overnight deposit rates.

Whatever the case, it’s clear that there is serious appetite for instant payments from corporate clients.

In our experience, up to 40% of existing SEPA credit transfers can be rapidly shifted to instant payments in those banks where we have delivered an upgrade.

Corporate clients prefer instant payments because they improve liquidity management and speed up the flow of funds in their business – not to mention the EU’s promise to control fee levels as part of the new mandate.

At a time when Capgemini say nine in ten corporate clients[3] feel underserved by banks and are looking to non-bank providers for their needs, being a first-mover with innovative services matters.

Tietoevry is the only provider currently working in the Nordics able to offer instant payment schemes via a proven platform that are compliant with the forthcoming EU mandate.

We have already delivered fully-functioning, secure instant payment technologies for banks throughout the Nordics, and look forward to working with our partners on further implementations ahead of the EU deadline at the end of 2024.

To find out more about how your bank can modernize its platforms and deliver market-leading instant payments ahead of the EU deadline, contact:, Head of Business Development and Product Management at Tietoevry Banking.


[1] See Payset, 12 January 2023, “What are SEPA Instant Payments and how do they work?”

[2] The European Commission, 24 May 2023, “Work on Instant Payments in Europe Advances

[3] FinExtra, 6 October 2022, “Banks risk losing 89% of business to fintechs


September 27, 2023
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