Instant payments continue to expand in Romania, with five locally active banks now offering this service to customers.
As of today, 9 August 2021, Vista Bank joins the group of banks providing Instant Payments. The other four banks with Instant Payments in their portfolio of services are Banca Transilvania, CEC Bank, Libra Internet Bank and Banca Comercială Română and Vista Bank.
The Instant Payments service ensures the transfer of money in less than 10 seconds between banks, according to the rules set out in the payment scheme governing this payment instrument. In practice, since its launch, the actual transfer time between two participating banks is around 4 seconds. Such a payment can be made at any time (24/7/365) and its individual value is below 50 thousand lei. Instant payments are available to end users of financial services, whether consumers or businesses, as well as to banks and other payment service providers that wish to operate in the local market, enabling one of the most important requirements of open-banking, i.e. the real-time transfer of funds between customers to become a reality. The continuous development of the service keeps Romania on the map of countries aligned with the most modern standards in the field.
“It is a certainty that, both at European and international level, instant payments will be the standard for electronic transactions and we are convinced that it will become widespread in the Romanian market in a time horizon that we consider quite near. Once the general economic processes are back on track, we are confident that banks will start to record the expected speed of development of their services and will take the necessary steps to join the Instant Payments service, given that, from existing practices, offering this service can improve the customer retention rate and can also attract new customers”, said Sabin Carantină, TRANSFOND General Manager.
In terms of payment volumes, the Instant Payments service records 55% more transactions in the first 7 months of this year than in the whole of 2020, and the trend is one of permanent growth, month by month.
Specifically, to pay instantly, the end-user of the payment service does not need to purchase or install a dedicated app for the service, nor register in a separate Instant Payments interface. The only condition that must be met in order to benefit from instant payments is that the service is offered by the bank or non-bank payment provider of the payment initiator and the bank or non-bank payment provider of the payee, in particular through mobile banking and internet banking platforms (although there are already offers of such services available even at banks’ physical counters, if a willing customer is not “connected” or “connectable”).
Recently, Ionel Dumitru, Transfond’s general manager advisor, said that seven banks are interested in joining the instant payment system of Transfond, the administrator and operator of the Automated Clearing House for interbank commercial payments.
“For instant payments there is interest from a number of banks. There are some that prefer to wait and see what happens. Some have even confessed to this. Clearly that’s the direction everyone is going in. So there’s no doubtu….We have a number of 7 banks at the moment that are interested. Four of them are big banks and when they join we are convinced that they will generate enough momentum for the rest of the community to join this system,” said Ionel Dumitru.
Transfond’s Instant Payments service went live in April 2019. With its help, the financial-banking community in Romania can offer its customers the Instant Payments service, which ensures money transfers in less than 10 seconds between banks. Such a payment can be made at any time (24/7/365). The individual value of a payment executed through Instant Payments is below 50 thousand lei.
Transfond currently has 24 shareholders, including the Romania’s Central Bank (BNR).