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EBA Clearing’s instant payment system RT1 hits 500,000 transactions


EBA Clearing’s SCT Inst-compliant instant payment system RT1 has processed more than half a million transactions in Europe, worth EUR300m, with 95% of them taking three seconds to clear.

The system passed the 500,000 transaction milestone on 19 February 2018, three months after RT1 went live on 21 November 2017 simultaneously with the launch date of the single euro payments area (SEPA) instant credit transfer (SCT Inst) scheme last year.

RT1 provides banks and payment service providers (PSPs) in the 34 SEPA countries with pan-European reach, and adheres to the voluntary scheme rules designed  by the European Payments Council (EPC) covering less than 10 second delivery across borders on a constant 24×7 operational basis.

The milestone was marked yesterday at an EBA Clearing event in Brussels, Belgium, where its CEO Hays Littlejohn revealed that it currently handles over 10,000 transactions a day on average and has so far processed instant payments with a total value of EUR 300 million.

RT1’s reach extends to over 500 PSPs from 10 European Union (EU) countries, which are addressable via the 20 participants connected to the service at this stage, numbers which are little changed since its launch last November. But growth is expected later in the year as more banks join the platform.

Some may use RT1 as their main platform, while others will likely rely on it as a conduit to reach far-flung nations in the 34 SEPA countries in the scheme, while relying on refreshed domestic automated clearing houses (ACHs) instead to handle the majority of their national fast payments. Each participant must decide for themselves the most efficient, functionality-rich manner in which to connect and integrate SCT Inst into their bank operations. Other clearing and settlement mechanisms (CSMs) are available.

“RT1 has had a very promising start,” said Erkki Poutiainen, Chairman of EBA Clearing in a statement, “and is at the heart of the instant payment ramp-up across SEPA.” He also praised the “collaborative effort” of its pan-European user community and the technology and business support provided by partners at SIA and SWIFT.

According to CEO Littlejohn, over 95% of the transactions sent via RT1 are processed within three seconds. “Driven by the active experience of our participants and the expected volume uptake, we plan two further released in 2018,” he said, “which will expand connectivity options and introduce additional functionality.”


Author: Kate Nelson