Belgium: Instant payments to be implemented by November 2018

The Belgian Financial Sector Federation (FEBELFIN) announce the benefits of the implementation of instant payments for consumers and the country itself. Belgian banks have set November 2018 as the target date for vesting consumers with such an option.

“Belgium is among the first countries in Europe to implement instant payments. It will dramatically increase the speed at which payments are made and received in euro in the European Union” explained Salvatore Orlando, Head of Expatriates at BNP Paribas Fortis Today it normally takes one business day for a payment to reach the beneficiary. With instant payments this will happen in real time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The funds will be available immediately for use by the recipient. Instant transfer could still be made even if the beneficiary’s account and the prayer’s account are held in different banks.

Benefits for the consumers

  • Make and receive payments 24/7/365 with immediate transfer of funds     
  • Optimise cash usage with increased flexibility and convenience
  • Enable immediate person-2-person mobile payments
  • Provide for emergency payments at any time
  • Facilitate future innovative payment products via smart devices

Benefits for business and governments

  • Make and receive payments 24/7/365 with immediate transfer of funds
  • Improve cash flow and process of payment reconciliation
  • Increase efficiency of e-invoicing and e-billing
  • Optimise working capital management and minimise need for external financing
  • Reduce late payments and speed up the payment of invoices
  • Improve e-commerce, with goods/services released against concomitant payment, thus decreasing the financial risk
  • Speed up check-out processes at a physical point-of-sale
  • Increase efficiency of and integrate tax, social insurance or other government-related payments

Benefits for payment providers

  • Leverage for new business opportunities (e.g. through value-added product offerings to consumers, corporates and merchants)
  • Strengthen the relationship with current customers
  • Promote new customer acquisition and subsequent retention
  • Provide a competitive advantage in the market place
  • Future-proof core infrastructure