Instant Payment Compliance: A Strategic Overview

2 min read
Apr 3, 2024 4:12:38 PM


In the fast-evolving landscape of the financial services sector, the introduction of instant payments is reshaping how transactions are conducted. Amidst this transformation, financial institutions in the EU/EEA SEPA Countries and the Non-EU/EEA SEPA countries face the intricate challenge of adhering to evolving regulatory requirements. This article succinctly navigates through the latest instant payment regulations within these jurisdictions and unveils how Pythagoras's Instant Payment Screening Service (IPSS) stands as a comprehensive solution in this new era.


The European Commission has ushered in a new era of financial transactions with its final regulation on Euro Instant Credit Transfer, published in November 2023. This regulation, amending the SEPA framework, mandates enhanced instant payment options for consumers and businesses across the EU/EEA and select non-EEA countries. Key aspects of this regulation include:

  • Mandatory instant credit transfer services in Euro: Institutions must offer 24/7/365 instant credit transfers.
  • Uniform charges: Fees for instant payments must not exceed those for traditional transfers.
  • Payee verification services: PSPs are required to provide free verification services to bolster security.
  • Sanction screening: Mandatory daily screening against EU sanctions lists.
  • Reporting obligations: Annual reporting on payment charges and services to authorities.

Timelines for Implementation

For EU Area PSPs:

  • November 2024: Compliance with the reception of SCT (SEPA Credit Transfer) instant payments, pricing harmonization between instant and non-instant credit transfers, daily sanctions screening, and annual reporting to competent authorities.
  • November 2025: Obligation to enable the sending of SCT instant payments and to provide the "Verification of Payee" service.

For Non-EU PSPs:

  • November 2024: To begin daily sanctions screening and annual reporting to authorities.
  • May 2026: Required to start receiving SCT instant payments and ensure pricing harmonization
  • May 2027: Must facilitate the sending of SCT instant payments and offer the “Verification of Payee”.

Pythagoras's Compliance Solution: Instant Payment Screening Service 

In this regulatory milieu, Pythagoras's Instant Payment Screening Service (“IPSS”) emerges as an essential tool for ensuring compliance. The IPSS provides a sophisticated, real-time screening mechanism against leading provider data, facilitating seamless and efficient compliance with regulatory mandates.

Key features of the IPSS include:

  • Real-time screening: Payments are screened in less than 1/100 seconds against reference data.
  • Independence from banking systems: Operates via web service, supporting formats like PACS008.
  • Adaptive learning system: Recognizes and monitors recurring transaction partners for changes.
  • Customizable and precise: Minimizes false positives through configurable options and intelligent algorithms.

Advantages of leveraging the IPSS:

  • Security and reliability: Ensures data security and 24/7 operation.
  • Scalability: Easily manages high transaction volumes.
  • Performance: Offers instant response times to payment systems.
  • Transparency: Provides clear, adjustable screening rules.
  • Efficiency and traceability: Stores decisions and maintains comprehensive audit trails.

What's important now

As digital payments continue to ascend, the integration of instant payment systems becomes indispensable for financial institutions aiming to stay relevant and compliant. The regulatory landscape, particularly with the European Commission's latest directives, demands strategic adaptation and implementation of efficient compliance solutions.

Pythagoras's Instant Payment Screening Service (IPSS) offers a comprehensive solution, enabling financial institutions across the SEPA countries to meet and exceed these regulatory requirements. By incorporating IPSS, these institutions not only ensure compliance with current regulations but also position themselves to seamlessly adapt to future regulatory evolutions.


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