Naar de navigatie Naar de inhoud

Instant Payments

Instant payments: pay at the speed of a WhatsApp message

 July 7, 2017 - Industry - reading time 3 minutes

ABN AMRO and the other three leading Dutch retail banks are working on a new real-time payments infrastructure in the Netherlands known as Instant Payments. The aim is to be able to send a euro transfer to a beneficiary’s bank account within five seconds so that the money can be accessed directly at that point. The service will be available 24/7, 365 days a year. In time, Instant Payments will become the ‘new normal’, and could in time replace traditional debit card and iDEAL payment transactions. How will this speed up business transactions for companies? On 13 June, ABN AMRO held a Roundtable discussion on the subject at a symbolic location: the notorious Tarzanbocht [Tarzan Corner] at Zandvoort race track.

Evolving client needs, new legislation and regulations and global standardisation call for ongoing technological progress. Instant Payments is one of the new facilities through which businesses can optimise their cash management. Payments will be credited to the beneficiary’s bank account almost instantaneously, and can be made 24/7, 365 days a year, including at the weekend. The new service, which is scheduled for introduction in May 2019, will bring the four major Dutch retail banks into line with developments elsewhere in Europe. The first payments to benefit will be Mobile and Internet Banking transactions.

Instant Payments

Veranderende klantbehoeften, wet- en regelgeving en wereldwijde standaardisatie vragen om technologische vooruitgang. Instant Payments is één van de nieuwe mogelijkheden waarmee bedrijven hun cash management kunnen optimaliseren. Met Instant Payments worden betalingen vrijwel direct bijgeschreven op de rekening van de begunstigde en is het mogelijk betalingen 24/7 en 365 dagen per jaar te doen. Dus ook in het weekend. De vier Nederlandse grootbanken sluiten hierbij aan op de Europese ontwikkelingen en introduceren deze versnelde verwerking van geld overboeken in mei 2019. Zij gaan dit in eerste instantie doen voor betalingen via Mobiel en Internet Bankieren.


Paying at the speed of a WhatsApp message

What opportunities does this open up for businesses, and will Instant Payments significantly change the life of company treasurers? What impact will it have on the processing of payments and the cash pool structure? Business representatives from a wide range of sectors, from insurance companies and energy exchanges to logistics companies and pension funds, discussed these and other matters at the Round Table event. “Global developments are taking place in rapid succession, and financial markets are being faced with changing behaviour on the part of both consumers and businesses. Clients now want to be able to make payments and manage their transfers themselves 24/7, 365 days a year – including at weekends and on public holidays,” says Gijs Schreuder, Head of Market Infrastructures at ABN AMRO. The introduction of Instant Payments will need to ensure that payments can be made as quickly and easily as sending a message via WhatsApp. “All transactions will be settled real-time, and there will be no maximum amount in the Netherlands, unlike in the rest of Europe, where transactions will be tied to an upper limit of EUR 15,000. This will apply not just to retail payments but also to business transactions, payments to suppliers and the payment of salaries,” explains Sandra Peute, Transaction Banking Product Manager at ABN AMRO. “Instant Payments will make it easier for people and businesses to manage their payments and avoid cashflow problems.”



Instant Payments will also accelerate payments made using the free ABN AMRO ‘Tikkie’ app, which allows consumers to send payment requests to family or friends via WhatsApp. The app is available to anyone with a current account, and when combined with Instant Payments, will be especially attractive for businesses. Businesses from retailers to insurers will be able to send payment requests to their clients’ mobiles and thus speed up the settlement of their invoices. Experience has shown that 70% of reminders sent via Tikkies are settled within a day. If businesses combine Instant Payments with Tikkie, clients will be able to pay online quickly and directly.


‘The new normal’

At the moment, iDEAL is one of the most reliable and effective online payment methods available. Payments are guaranteed and webshops can access the money within a day or two. However, the added advantage of Instant Payments is that the money will be available instantaneously so that you can pay other parties – from wholesalers to transport firms – even faster. And the level of security offered will be at least the same as that provided by the existing interbank payment infrastructure. All the Round Table delegates agreed that Instant Payments was now an irreversible trend. “It will encourage us to shift up a gear, and sooner or later companies will have to go with it. But if they do, they will have to adapt their own internal infrastructure accordingly,” adds the treasures of one of the attending companies. And that will apply to a whole range of corporate support departments, including Marketing, IT and Procurement," affirms another company attending the Round Table discussion. “Instant Payments is a promising development, but it will have a significant impact on the way companies’ operations management is structured. Business processes will need to be reconfigured, so it’s sensible to start thinking about that now.”


Are you interested in a loan?

Our loan specialists are happy to discuss what ABN AMRO can do for you. Even if you don’t have a business account with us.