Practitioners Group on Instant Payments


The Euro Banking Association (EBA) has traditionally accompanied major regulatory changeover periods for the European payments industry through the initiation of working or expert groups and the formulation of guidance and/or recommendations on market practices.

In November 2017, the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer Scheme was launched by the European Payments Council. The EBA has contributed to the ramp-up of instant payments, inter alia by providing a platform for joint analysis and exchange on issues of an operational nature that benefited from being addressed collectively. For example, SMART2 (SCT Inst Migration Action Round Table) issued a number of recommendation notes on instant payments which can be found on the EBA website.

In October 2022, about five years after the launch of the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer Scheme, the EU Commission adopted a legislative proposal to make instant payments in euro available to all citizens and businesses holding a bank account in the EU and EEA countries. The legislative proposal amends and modernises the 2012 Regulation on the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

In November 2023, the EU Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal for a regulation on instant payments, and it is believed by the payments industry that the legislative proposal is sufficiently stable to evaluate practical implications for the payments industry.

Task and scope of activities

The task of the EBA Practitioners Group on Instant Payments (hereafter the “Practitioners Group”) is to evaluate the practical impact of the legislative proposal on instant euro payments and to formulate recommendations on matters of an operational nature. The Practitioners Group shall take a pan-European perspective and aim to foster harmonisation and/or avoiding market fragmentation.

The activities of the Practitioners Group will be structured on the basis of selected areas or topics that members identify and that the Board of the Association decides to engage in (each such area or topic being defined as a “work package”). As a first step, and based on the recommendations of the Payments Regulation Sounding Board endorsed by the EBA Board, the Practitioners Group will focus on the following three deliverables:

  • an overview of key outstanding questions and of industry initiatives to address the same
  • clarification on interpretation of relevant provisions in the regulation and building an understanding on the related impact
  • the development of recommendations for market practices in relation to identified practical issues relating to the proposed regulation on instant payments in SEPA.

Terms of Reference