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Instant payments proliferate in Germany


Following the launch of the single euro payments area (SEPA) Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme, UniCredit has rolled out cross-border instant payments between Germany and Italy.

Only inbound payments are possible in Italy at the moment, however, with the Italian-owned UniCredit banking conglomerate saying outbound payment execution in Italy will commence on 22 February 2018.

Global Trade Magazine reported that the initial Germany-to-Italy payment took exactly 2.5 seconds to be completed, claiming it makes UniCredit the first bank to offer real-time and cross-border payments in Germany. The UniCredit Bank Aktiengesellschaft unit, better known as Hypovereinsbank (HVB), was instrumental in the cross-border move that was obviously eased by the banks’ resting under the same ownership umbrella.

Other banks are battling over bragging rights in what is a varied German situation with various different speeds of SCT Inst bank and clearing and settlement mechanism (CSM) adoption across the country.

“We have always aimed to lead the way on developing instant payments solution for our clients,” said Gianfranco Bisagni, a UniCredit executive quoted by Global Trade, “and we are excited about the benefits this new service will bring to our clients – promoting speed and transparency through 24-hour, 365-days-a-year coverage and real-time notifications of successful payments.”

UniCredit Germany AG (HVB) says it now has a “full-service” offering for SCT Inst, while the conglomerate’s Italian banking unit is stuck with inbound only payments for another month. Outbound Italian supranational payment execution will be available only from 22 February 2018 onwards, according to Global Trade, but this is still ahead of lots of other banks’ SCT Inst migration plans.


Author: Viali Munteanu