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Instant payments postponed until January

Contrary to promises, Belgian banks will not be ready to start instant payments in November. It will only be in January that all bank transfers will be made in seconds, according to De Standaard. According to the Febelfin banking federation, the reason for the delay to the fast transfer platform is that the process is “currently undergoing extensive testing”.

An instant payment is a transfer that is processed at any time of the day, including at night, on holidays and weekends. The transferred money will be credited to the beneficiary’s account within seconds, even if the beneficiary has an account with a bank that is different from the sender. Instant payments can be an advantage for companies: they can immediately be credited and thus optimise their cash flow. At present, these payments often take a while because processing procedures have to be followed between banks. This delay can be problematic when paying invoices.

At the beginning of next year, the following banks will rollout instant payments: Argenta, Bank de Kremer, Bank Van Breda, Bank Nagelmackers, Belfius, BNP Paribas Fortis, CBC Banque, CPH Banque, Crelan, Europabank, Fintro, Hello Bank, ING, KBC and VDK Bank.

Belgium is one of the first European countries to introduce instant payments. Belgian banks have invested heavily to make this project a success and thereby respond to a growing need of the consumer for continuous accessibility and always being able to pay anytime and anywhere.

Arthur Rubinstein
The Brussels Times