Instant Payments (cepPolicyBrief COM(2022) 546)

shutterstock/Kaspars Grinvalds

Cost-effective and within seconds: The Commission plans to make real-time transfers, so-called instant payments, available for EU consumers by default. The Centrum für Europäische Politik (cep) welcomes the approach to minimise fraud risks but rejects the draft law in general as too massive and unrealistic.


"Standard credit transfers take a working day, instant payments a few seconds. Until now, fees are frequently charged for real-time transfers. The Commission now aims to abolish these. This is a too radical intervention in the free market," says cep financial expert Anastasia Kotovskaia, who analysed the draft law.

According to the cep expert, there are no sufficient reasons for such a harsh intervention in the payments market. "Even assuming that this legislation is adopted, the proposed implementation deadlines of 6 and 12 months are unrealistic and constitute unreasonable challenges for some EU member states," Kotovskaia stresses.

She advocates for the development of the European payments in free competition, respecting the principle of market economy. "The freedom to define one's own products and services as well as fee policy should be inviolable. Artificially giving an advantage to a single service is an inappropriate way to regulate the European payments market," Kotovskaia said. The negative impact of the legislation on payments would go beyond the potential benefits of this legislative measure. "The envisaged anti-fraud measures and provisions on sanctions verification also need further refinement."