EBA CLEARING says that its RT1 platform has made considerable progress in building up pan-European instant payment reach across the French retail payments market: the system extends pan-European reach through a critical mass of payment service providers in France.
Since the beginning of 2020, French banks have been ramping up their Europe-wide connectivity for SEPA Instant Credit Transfers through RT1, with some of them connecting to the EBA CLEARING platform with the support of STET.
Europe-wide, RT1 has seen a significant ramp-up since its go-live in November 2017. Banking communities in Austria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Spain, as well as individual institutions from most other European countries, have connected to the system over the past two and half years.
RT1 currently has 64 participants across Europe and extends reach to over 2,500 PSPs from 23 different SEPA countries. Together, these PSPs account for over 75% of the regular credit transfers EBA CLEARING is processing today. Since its launch, the system has processed close to 200 million transactions with total value of nearly €100 billion. It currently handles roughly 700,000 transactions per day on average and close to 1 million transactions on peak days.
With BRED Banque Populaire, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, HSBC France, La Banque Postale and Société Générale already connected to RT1 and several others completing their joining process in the coming months, the French banking community is in the process of putting in place full instant payment coverage for its customers for both national and cross-border traffic.
This important pre-requisite for the massive roll-out and uptake of instant payment products is being achieved in co-operation with the banks’ national provider of clearing and settlement services, STET. While a number of French participants chose to connect directly to RT1, others are leveraging STET, which has connected to RT1 as a technical service provider.
While the RT1 platform continues to expand, EBA CLEARING has also announced the timely start of the testing phase for its pan-European request to pay infrastructure (R2P) service, which is scheduled to go live in November 2020 in line with the launch of the SEPA Request to Pay Scheme by the European Payments Council (EPC).
Representatives of the 27 funding institutions from all over Europe took part in an online demonstration of the system. The delivery of the system and the kick-off of the testing phase mark the latest milestone in the company’s efforts to put this infrastructure service at the disposal of its future users from the earliest possible date on, in order to support their preparations for the launch of request to pay products.
This milestone follows the publication of the R2P service specifications in December 2019, which were made available to the wider community of future users and to the technical service providers and solution providers assisting them. The development of the service has been taken forward with the support of 27 funding institutions from 11 European countries.
“We are proud to deliver this key piece of core infrastructure, which is expected to significantly improve the end-to-end payment experience for end-users in the European payments ecosystem. And we are very pleased to optimally support our users in their own development plans through the timely availability of R2P,” comments Petia Niederländer, Chairman of EBA CLEARING.
A pan-European request to pay approach is seen as the missing piece of the puzzle for market players to create innovative payment products and services for their customers that leverage real-time messaging, the SEPA schemes and existing cost-efficient payment infrastructures, and that can be used across Europe.
In particular, request to pay will enable payment service providers and the broader ecosystem to create value around instant payments, for which reach is growing rapidly across Europe.