* The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and should not be attributed to the European Payments Council.
Launched in November 2017, the Instant Credit Transfer ( Inst) is the latest European Payments Council scheme. UniCredit, one of the adopters of the scheme, shines a light on its early experience providing instant payments.
Q. UniCredit was among the very first payment service providers () in Europe to join the Inst scheme as soon as it started in November 2017. Can you tell us about UniCredit’s first months of concrete experience with the scheme?
UniCredit has been proactively working on instant payments since the very beginning because we believe they will play a prominent role in the payments landscape of the future. That‘s why we decided to be frontrunners, going live both in Germany and in Italy in November 2017.
We made instant payments available to our customers via multiple online channels and had positive feedback even at the earliest stages because customers are becoming increasingly familiar with instant payments.
Q. Did you encounter any major hurdles when implementing the scheme? If you had only one piece of advice to give a preparing for Inst, what would it be?
Our launch went pretty smoothly. We were able to cope with the complexity of a brand new mechanism designed to manage payments and liquidity 24/7/365. As expected, the number of accounts we can reach is constantly increasing and this will be beneficial for the customer experience.
The main lesson we learned in the implementation of instant payments is that to deliver payments services in seconds 24/7/365, the entire IT system (e.g. channels, core applications, supporting and reporting systems, etc.) had to be reshaped.
Q. How do you see the scheme evolving in the future?
In the short- to mid-term, the Inst scheme should evolve to better serve our customers by allowing a higher maximum amount and shorter processing time. It goes without saying that the Inst Rulebook‘s future evolution has to go hand in hand with the Rulebook, as the new functionalities and usage of the two will be increasingly connected.
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