Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank and global B2B fintech software company Serrala have co-launched an API interface for SEPA instant payments.

According to the two service providers, this is the first API of which companies can trigger real-time payments directly via its SAP system.

Typically, companies that wish to pay suppliers, employees, or other business partners in real-time must go through their banks’ online banking tools.

The joint initiative acts an “important first step” to facilitate real-time treasury and allowing payments to be processed within less than ten seconds.

European Payments Council developed the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme in order to set the standard that digital payments must be executed in ten seconds or less.

Thomas Stosberg, Director, Corporate Cash Management Sales at Deutsche Bank explained: “Combining SEPA Instant Payments with API technology creates new opportunities for our customers.

“Corporates benefit from an end-to-end integration of their business processes via treasury components to the bank and vice versa and receive an immediate confirmation of their payments.”

The new interface, which is part of the Serrala FS² Payments for SAP solution, sets the basis for an end-to-end automation of payment processes through integration in the customer’s SAP ERP system.

Serrala’s payment method has been available since 2017 but, until now, it required mostly proprietary bank solutions.

Stephan Benkendorf, Chief Domestic Officer at Serrala said: “Instant Payments are revolutionizing payment structures. Together with Deutsche Bank we are bringing the benefits of the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer scheme to corporate customers.

“Our API transforms payment processing from scheduled batch payments to real-time processing, accelerating payments significantly.”

Both firms stated they are working closely with their clients to understand its customers payment demands and to further improve the solution.

Initially, the API will be available to capture, process and manage manual payments in SAP systems; Deutsche Bank and Serrala said they plan to expand the solution to include other payment systems in a second phase of development.