Instant Payments

CEC Belgium


What is it about? 

SCT Inst, also called Instant Payment, refers to an individual electronic payment effected 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7/365) between participating banks, with funds being made available to the beneficiary within seconds. Regardless of where the bank account is held.

Instant Payments Project Initiation:

  • Already in 2015, momentum for Instant Payments was growing, resulting in January 2016 in a formal start of the Instant Payments Initiative within Febelfin.
  • Based on the outcome of a CSM selection process, the CEC, Centre for Exchange and Clearing, signed a ‘Letter of Intent” (LOI) with STET in October 2016. STET is a France-based automated clearing house, to which the Belgian banking community already entrusted the processing, clearing and settlement of SEPA and non-SEPA payment instruments in the Belgian market.
  • After several months of close collaboration between STET and the Belgian banking community, the project initiation resulted in an amended Framework Agreement between both parties in July 2017, triggering the formal start of the Instant Payments Project within CEC. 

Instant Payments Project Implementation & Realisation: 

  • With the finalisation of the Instant Payments specifications in the course of 2017, the Belgian banking community is building the road to Instant Payments.
  • Between 2017 and November 2018 banks have been investing significantly in developing and testing the Instant Payments Platform, resulting in the production installation and activation on November 18th, 2018.
  • From this date onwards, leading up to the commercial launch, all parties involved will be given the opportunity to proceed with the end-to-end validation of the new infrastructure. 
  • This accomplishment will further support the innovative image of the Belgian Banking Community.
  • The objective is to ensure that Instant Payments will be covering at least 80-85 % of Belgian current accounts after its launch in Belgium.

Instant Payments in Europe:

  • Instant Payments already exist in some European countries. For the moment, they operate within the borders of a country or among the customers of the same payment services provider.
  • The names of the payment service providers ready for SCT Inst are published by the EPC in the Register of participants. Please note that the participants' reach is not indicated in the register.
  • Many Clearing and Settlement Mechanisms (CSMs) have already self-declared their adherence to the new SCT Inst Scheme. CSM organizations compliant with the EPC SEPA Schemes can be consulted on EPC Compliant CSMs.
  • Interoperability across Europe is and will remain a huge challenge for all parties involved. Banks may opt to participate in different (CSM) models. CSMs in Europe have committed to realising interoperability in Instant Payments. TIPS (Target2 Instant Payments Settlement) & RT1 (EBA CLEARING’s instant payment system) could further facilitate pan-European reachability for Instant Payments.

Some concrete examples showing that Instant Payments offers clear added value:

  • Use cases can be found in the P2P, P2B, B2P and B2B environment: 
    • P2P (person to person): pay each other anytime anywhere, e.g. by sharing bills, provisioning student accounts, private sales, …
    • P2B (person to business): pay for services, e.g. home delivery (from pizza to new furniture), second hand car market, notary bills, e-commerce payments, …
    • B2P (business to person): business that pay hourly wages to workers could disburse wage payments at the end of the week or day. Insurance pay-outs to quickly settle a claim, ….
    • B2B (business to business): pay just-in-time to meet critical deadlines or to release delivery of goods or services; e.g. to ensure that a loaded cargo ship can leave the harbour.

Instant Payments Information:

For any information related to the Instant Payments project, please contact