Instant Payments


  1. What are Instant Payments?

    Instant Payments are payments whereby the payment amount is credited immediately to the account of the beneficiary, resulting in access to the funds for the beneficiary within seconds, any time of the day (24/7), any day of the year (also on weekends and public holidays), regardless of where the bank account is held. It concerns payments in euros for SEPA countries.

  2. Will all banks and payment service providers in the Netherlands offer Instant Payments?

    Participation by banks in the Instant Payments infrastructure is voluntary. The major banks in the Netherlands are actively participating in the development of the Instant Payments infrastructure and are committed to offer Instant Payments services to their customers from the start. It is expected that in due time most of the payment service providers will follow suit and offer Instant Payments to their customers.

    Banks in other SEPA countries will also start offering Instant Payments to their customers. In some non-euro countries, banks are already offering Instant Payments.

  3. Will there be charges for Instant Payments?

    Each individual payment service provider will determine whether, and if so, what fee(s) they intend to charge for Instant Payments.


  1. When will the Instant Payments infrastructure be available?

    Interbank testing is expected to start mid 2018, followed by a joint pilot starting early 2019. As of 1 May 2019 the Instant Payments infrastructure will be live.

  2. Will all payments migrate to the Instant Payments infrastructure?

    Single Instant Payment transfers offered via mobile devices and internet banking will be first to be processed via the Instant Payments infrastructure. There are no other agreements in place. The uptake and use of the infrastructure is left to the market place. It concerns payments in Euro between payment service providers in the Netherlands and (more and more) between participating payment service providers in the euro zone. There are no plans to phase out the current infrastructure.


  1. Is the transaction speed of less than 5 seconds achievable?

    Based on internal investigations and non-euro market references from countries where Instant (or Real Time) Payments are already live, the speed of at most 5 seconds is realistic and achievable.

  2. Will Instant Payments be secure and reliable?

    Security and reliability must and will comply with current standards, at the same level as they apply to current SEPA Credit Transfers.

  3. Is the Dutch Instant Payments solution aligned with European developments?

    Most certainly. European compatibility has been a key starting point in the design of the new Instant Payments infrastructure. The development of Instant Payments takes place in full alignment with the developments in Europe, as initiated by the European Central Bank (ECB), in accordance with the Euro Retail Payments Board (ERPB) – the European equivalent of the Dutch MOB (Maatschappelijk Overleg Betalingsverkeer).

    The Dutch Payments Association participates directly and actively in the development of the European Instant Payments standard (the Rulebook) within the European Payments Council (EPC).

  4. Which countries and payment service providers participate in Instant Payments?

    The EPC registers which payment service providers in which countries are offering Instant Payments. The list of participants is available on the website of the EPC as ‘Register of Participants’. It is expected that some payment service providers will participate directly from the start while others will join in 2019, in 2020 or possibly even later.

  5. How does the Dutch Instant Payments program relate to other European initiatives?

    Most of the Instant Payment initiatives in Europe identified so far, aim to add an new payment type to the portfolio, predominantly servicing the person-to-person (P2P) segment. The Netherlands has, however, the ambition to introduce the Instant Payments infrastructure as the new standard for all (single) payments, regardless of amount or market segment.

    All the euro banks and countries that intend to participate, will comply with or migrate to the EPC standard – similar to the Netherlands – thus also enabling cross-border Instant Payments within the euro zone.


  1. How are stakeholders informed? What additional documentation is available?

    The special Instant Payments stakeholder forum convenes on a quarterly basis to keep all representatives informed about the status and progress.

    For company specific questions, please contact your bank or payment service provider. The Dutch Payments Association is available for general information.

  2. What were the recent activities?

    Since the MOB meeting in May 2016 the Dutch Payments Association, in close collaboration with the Dutch Central Bank (DNB), has worked out a more detailed design of the Instant Payments infrastructure, both from a functional (customer) perspective as well as from a technical perspective (clearing and settlement).

    The design – as work in progress – has been discussed in a stakeholder forum that was installed for this puprose. At the same time the design has been aligned with European requirements.

    A market consultation among European processors and among suppliers of payment systems and payment infrastructure, was conducted early 2016. Its results have led to further adaptation of the program’s functional and technical specifications.

    In the second half of 2016 the requirements from the Dutch program have been reviewed and amended, based on the available European (EPC) SEPA Inst rulebook and implementation guidelines. The latest version can be obtained by sending us an e-mail. Meanwhile the payment service providers started (re)building their systems and selecting suppliers.

  3. What activities are foreseen in the coming period?

    The coming period will be marked by the continued building of all infrastructure components, the implementation of supporting processes and preparations for testing. The first tests are scheduled for the second half of 2018, followed by a pilot at the start of 2019. As of May 2019 the infrastructure will be live.

Customer Impact

  1. Will the payer get an instant confirmation that the beneficiary has indeed received the money?

    That depends. Such a confirmation is possible and for some payments also appropriate. But in other cases a confirmation may not be required. Every single Payment Service Provider decides – sometimes in alignment with its customers – if and how the confirmation will be passed on.

  2. When is an Instant Payment available to the beneficiary?

    For payments processed via the Instant Payments infrastructure, there will no longer be a difference between a working and a non-working day. The amount payed is directly credited and will be instantly available to the beneficiary. Instant Payments will comply to all applicable terms and regulations, such as the Payment Services Directive and other relevant legislation, rules and regulations.

  3. Will there be a maximum amount per payment?

    A precondition for the infrastructure has been that it should be able to support all payments types. The Netherlands community has therefore decided not to introduce any transactional amount limit within the infrastructure. For certain payment products or channels however a maximum amount can be applicable. Defining such a maximum will be up to the individual Payment Service Providers.

  4. Can I recall an Instant Payment?

    Similar to current practice, the Payment Service Provider decides on the conditions and criteria for the provided payment services, inclusive of whether a payment instruction can be cancelled or recalled. This will not change with the introduction of Instant Payments.

  5. What will happen with other payment products (besides Mobiel and Internet Payments)?

    If it is considered advantageous, other payment products can also be offered via the Instant Payment infrastructure. The infrastructure is designed to cater for volume and value. Whether this will indeed be the case, is a decision for each individual PSP participating, and is in the end up to the market.

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