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Instant bank transfers in Belgium delayed until 2019

21:35 16/10/2018

The planned introduction of instant bank transfers in Belgium has been delayed until next year, banking federation Febelfin has announced.

The faster service was due to launch next month, but has been pushed back to "early 2019".

"The technical side of the instant payments project has already been finalised," Febelfin said. "Given the size and the complexity of the proect, a trial period is under way."

Sweden, Denmark, the UK, Poland and Switzerland are among the European countries where instant transfers can already be made between banks, 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

In Belgium, the new service will exist alongside the existing method. Customers will be able to choose which type of transfer to use - and banks may charge extra for the faster option.

"Banks are free to choose - we will let competition do its work," Febelfin said. "Some banks may offer it as part of a package, others might set a maximum number of free transactions in any period."

Money will be deposited in a recipient's account within seconds, even if they use a different bank. The service will eventually be extended to international transfers within the Single European Payment Area (Sepa) - but only in euros.



I can imagine the banks want to hang on to their opportunity to play around with the funds for a couple of days once they are released for the supposed transfer. This is backed by the suggestion that Belgian banks are actually planning to charge for transferring funds immediately. Banks have been making a fortune by investing/playing around with money that is being transferred and the new instant transfer could cut into this surplus revenue.

Oct 17, 2018 13:27