Swift and the EU Payment Council achieve seconds-long international payments


Swift, the global messaging platform, has partnered with the European Payment Council (EPC) to speed up cross-border payments in Europe. 

The collaboration will see Swift powering EPC’s One-Leg-Out Instant Credit Transfer scheme (OCT Inst), that was launched this week and aims to achieve seconds-long speeds when processing domestic EU payments. 

Launching OCT Inst comes shortly after a successful trial period between Swift and several financial institutions across the Union and abroad, where multiple international payments had reached Spanish accounts “within seconds”. 

Marianne Demarchi, CEO of Swift in Europe, said: “Interoperability is at the heart of everything we are doing at Swift to achieve our strategy of instant and frictionless payments for all, and it will be key to achieving the G20’s goals for cross-border payments. The EPC’s OCT Inst scheme is a positive step for Europe that will enhance the user experience for payers in Europe, but also all around the world.”

As part of the G20’s goals of reaching the optimal cross-border payments speed, transparency, cost and accessibility, interlinked market infrastructures play a key role – with the global political forum targeting a 75% rate of cross-border payment to reach their beneficiary within an hour by 2027.

Giorgio Andreoli, Director General of the European Payments Council, said: “The new One-Leg Out Instant Credit Transfer scheme is the first non-SEPA scheme delivered by the EPC, targeting international (instant) cross-border A2A transactions. 

“The OCT Inst scheme leverages the large and growing base of European PSPs already supporting Instant Payments, 62% in the SEPA area, adding on top of the speed, low cost and reachability already provided by the SCT Inst scheme, the transparency and traceability required by the G20 and the FSB. 

“The EPC is proud to be releasing at the right point in time an innovative scheme with a strong market fit, as we believe that a multilateral scheme approach will be a game changer for international instant payments.” 

There are also other interlinking initiatives currently in place that Swift is closely keeping track of, such as the upcoming European legislation for instant payments which will seek to level the pricing between instant and traditional payments.