Share article:
Share article:

The promised instant bank transfer is now ready for rollout

Thanks to the new instant payment system that Belgian banks will roll out today, clients can transfer money from one bank account to another in seconds, via PC banking or banking app. With a traditional bank transfer it can take one to several days for the payment to be processed. With instant payments the transaction is completed in seconds. Under the system it doesn’t matter if the beneficiary is a customer of the same bank or not; the money is almost immediately in his account. This also applies to weekends and public holidays. The system will allow for instant payments 24/24 and 7/7.

Belgian banks have been working on the system for about three years, but it took longer than expected to implement it. Initially, the plan was for instant payments to be made as early as November of last year, but this deadline was not met for technical reasons. The deadline for rollout was then set for just after New Year, but this deadline was not met either because tests were still in progress. Finally the promise of Belgian banking federation, Febelfin, to launch in the “spring of 2019” has been fulfilled.

The participating banks are Argenta, Bank de Kremer, Bank J. Van Breda &Co, Bank Nagelmackers, Belfius Bank, BNP Paribas Fortis, CBC Banque, CPH Banque, Crelan, Europabank, Fintro, Hello bank!, ING Belgium, KBC Bank, KBC Brussels and vdk bank. Other banks, including AXA Bank, will offer the service in the future. The classic bank transfer will not disappear. The instant transfer is a new, additional service.  

Despite Febelfin’s message, however, bank clients should not expect to immediately start making instant transfers. The banks will gradually roll out the system and are still in a testing phase.

The banks themselves will decide whether to charge their customers for this new service. Below is a list of banks and their policies concerning instant payments:

At ING, instant transfers will be free and automatic for private individuals who make transfers via Home Bank or Smart Banking. Instant transfers by companies via the Business Bank and Telelink Online platform will be charged 5 euro + VAT. 

KBC also offers the service free of charge and automatically to private individuals and self-employed persons with a Plus account, which is the largest group. If you have a free current account, you cannot use it. Companies will still have to wait a bit for the roll-out of instant transfers.

For the time being, BNP Paribas Fortis only offers the service to business customers and the service is free. But from 1 April, businesses will be charged 0.50 euro per transfer. Private individuals will only be able to use the fast transfer later this year. It is not yet clear whether the service for them will be free of charge.

Belfius said that it will shortly offer instant payments electronically to its retail customers at 1.25 euro per transaction. Anyone who wants to make an instant transfer currently will have to go to a branch of the bank, where the transaction fee is 6.05 euro per transfer.

Arthur Rubinstein
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
Up to 100 km/h winds expected across Belgium on Wednesday night
Gusts of up to 100 km/h are expected across Belgium on Wednesday night, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI), which has issued a ...
Cycling traffic officially added to VRT’s traffic bulletin
Usually a list of updates for drivers on busy roads, traffic bulletins will now include the latest travel news for cyclists in Belgium, VRT announced ...
MEPs call for European strategy to protect workers from asbestos
Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Commission to create a strategy for removing all abestos from buildings in order to reduce the ...
Mandatory vaccine for carers: employers call for sanctions
In a notice submitted by the National Council for Work (CNT), employers have called for heavy penalties for healthcare workers who refuse to receive ...
Police pension protest blocks several Brussels crossroads
On Wednesday, around 350 police officers expressed their dissatisfaction about the unclear pension scheme, low salaries and politicised police unions ...
Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The European Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...