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Italy: Instant payments now available

Instant payments were introduced to the Eurozone on 21st November, so long waiting periods before receiving money through wire transfers are over.

Usually, traditional transfers take 2/4 days depending on the bank, so beneficiaries must wait a while before they can use the sum received.

Solicitor Gualtiero Roveda

But things are now difficult. Banks will provide this new paying method thanks to which money will be transferred immediately, 24-7 and 365 days a year.

This is important news for the agricultural sector as, due to product perishability, there are many occasional sales to unknown buyers. We talked about it to solicitor Gualtiero Roveda, Fruitimprese consultant.

FreshPlaza (FP): What is Instant payment?

Gualtiero Roveda (GR):  It's a real time payment method that uses the Sepa Instant Credit Transfer system managed by Eba Clearing's Et1 platform. The infrastructure was developed by Italian company Sia.

FP: Where can it be used?
GR: The service is active in all 34 countries part of Sepa (Single Euro Payments Area). 18 banks in 8 countries have already adopted it but many other will implement it over the next year. It will take a few months for the system to become fully operational, though. 

FP: So can the system already be used in Italian banks?
GR: Banks need some time to update their systems and test the product. Some, for example, have only made the service available to selected clients.

FP: What are the advantages of instant payments?
GR: As I said, execution time. Money can be transferred in 10 seconds and the operation cannot be cancelled. The beneficiary will get the sum immediately and payers are notified instantly. 

FP: Assured payments are good news for the sector.
GR: Absolutely. In fact, operators often receive documents for transactions that haven't actually been carried out. There are cases in which clients send a copy of the order of execution and not the receipt. Other times, a false wire transfer receipt is produced.

FP: Is the service available at the same price as standard transfers? 
GR: No, costs are different. In addition to being higher, beneficiaries may have to pay commission too. 

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