Paris, 19 June 2020

EBA CLEARING’s RT1 reaches critical mass in France

French banks ramp up SEPA-wide instant payment connectivity with the support of EBA CLEARING and STET

France is the 9th country where RT1 establishes full or close-to-full pan-European reach for instant payments

Average daily RT1 volumes approaching 700,000, with peak days close to 1 million

EBA CLEARING announced today 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 a 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 Euros. 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.

“Crédit Agricole banks have adhered to the EPC instant payment scheme since 20 November 2018, but they could not be reached by foreign counterparts in the first phase of our implementation. Thanks to the cooperation of EBA CLEARING and STET, they are now reachable at pan-European level. The SWIP ‘single window IP’ service has been open since 4 June 2020 and we have already connected 7 of our banks.

We believe instant payments will respond to a number of our customer needs and will find a privileged place among the other means of payments. EBA CLEARING has indeed a very special role to play in this market as a pan-European reach provider.

Since December 2018, Crédit Agricole has exchanged more than 4.5 million SCT Inst transactions and intends to rely on the RT1 infrastructure to complete and develop its offering,”

said Narinda You, Payment Services Head of Strategy and Interbank Relations, Payment Services, Crédit Agricole.

“Since February, SOCIETE GENERALE has been enlarging progressively its offer to Europe thanks to our Partners EBA CLEARING and STET. An increasing number of our clients can now send and receive instant credit transfers in the Single Euro Payments Area, within seconds and any time they want. Instant payments has the potential to establish itself rapidly as the ‘new normal’ for our customers, in France as well as in Europe. 

In the first four months of 2020, more than 6 million instant credit transfers have been processed by the SOCIETE GENERALE, already exceeding our total 2019 instant transactions. It is a true added-value service. I have no doubt that this momentum will keep going as instant credit transfers lay the foundation for other innovative services such as request to pay,”

said Frantz Teissèdre, Head of Interbank Relationships, Société Générale.

“Reachability is key for the ramp up of Instant Payments in Europe. We are pleased to extend STET’s reach to RT1 Participants through our Single Window for Instant Payments service (SWIP) accessible to all our Participants, thanks to the close and very good collaboration with the team of EBA CLEARING.”

said Jean-Marie Vallée, CEO, STET.

“It is great that a critical mass of the French market is now reachable for instant payments from all across Europe, thanks to the tireless efforts of the French community. I would also like to thank STET for their co-operation, which allows participants to rely on a single-window approach for their national and cross-border instant payment traffic.

We are pleased to report that this co-operation model between CSM providers works extremely well with no impact on performance: the average RT1 transaction is completed end-to-end in just over a second, regardless of the number of hubs involved or how far apart they are geographically,

said Hays Littlejohn, CEO of EBA CLEARING.

RT1 provides payment service providers in the Single Euro Payments Area with a real-time payment processing facility operating around the clock on any day of the year for payments in line with the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) Scheme of the European Payments Council. Payments in RT1 are settled in real-time with immediate finality.

Participation in RT1 is open to any account-servicing payment provider (AS-PSP) adhering to the EPC SCT Inst Scheme. A variety of options to interact with the system allow any type of payment service provider to access to the RT1 platform in the way that best suits their needs.