UniCredit begins real-time payments testing
Written by Anthony Strzalek
UniCredit has begun testing EBA Clearing’s pan-European, real-time payments platform RT1, with the bank’s customers in Italy and Germany set to be the first to use the new payment method.
The Italian-headquartered bank is looking to become one of the first in Europe to make real-time payments available to customers in the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) on the launch date of the European Payments Council’s SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme later this year.
UniCredit customers in Italy and Germany will be offered the new payments service from November 2017 onwards. A total of 30 other banks are planning to connect to RT1 in November, while another 70 are preparing to join in 2018.
Jan Kupfer, global co-head of global transaction banking at UniCredit, commented: “The introduction of euro-denominated instant payments will enable us to better support the payment businesses of both our corporate and retail customers in the internal market. By providing our customers with payments facilities 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with payers notified of a successful transaction within seconds, we will greatly enhance the effectiveness of our services and increase customer trust.
“Widespread adoption and new, value-added services that optimise the customer experience will only serve to increase the benefits. In addition, UniCredit’s ongoing digital transformation programme will be a further beneficiary of our connection to the new instant payments infrastructure.”
Hays Littlejohn, CEO of EBA Clearing, added: “We are very pleased to count UniCredit among the early frontrunners actively preparing to join our RT1 system on the launch date of European instant payments, and to roll out this highly attractive new payment method to a multi-national customer base.
“Banks from several different countries are currently engaged in testing activities, with more following before the end of the summer.”