Instant payments are cashless payment transactions that are settled around the clock in real time. Unlike in existing retail payments, the money transferred is available to the payee immediately after the payment is sent. Up to now, payments have not usually been settled until the following banking day. Thanks to instant payments, this waiting time no longer applies, since payments are processed independently of banks’ operating hours, i.e. also at night or on weekends. Instant payments are possible for point-of-sale transactions at retail outlets as well as for credit transfers and direct debits. At present, there is no common European payment system for instant payments.
Clearing solutions already exist that enable payment messages to be transmitted in real time. At the end of 2018, Target Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS), a system for real-time settlement, was introduced in Europe and thus offers a further alternative to the settlement of instant payments.