Instant cross-border payments processed by European clearing and settlement system, STET, and ACI Worldwide, have reached a new record high. STET processed more than 35 billion transactions in 2023, representing a daily average of more than €25bn. Notably, it processed more than 50 million cross-border real-time transactions over the last 12 months. Moreover, that number is expected to increase by more than 50% in 2024.

STET and ACI Worldwide have been working together since 2017. Together, they offer banks and payment service providers (PSP) across Europe a seamless, end-to-end solution for the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme. This facilitates the transfer and settlement of instant payments with full pan-European reachability. And it contributes to making instant payment a strong foundation towards a unified European payment means. STET’s platform uses ACI Low Value Real-Time Payments as a SaaS service. This offers sophisticated routing and processing capabilities to enable its 20 member banks to connect directly to the European schemes, TIPS and RT1. The result is full pan-European reachability and interoperability for instant payments.

Instant payment transactions across SEPA, including the 27 European Union (EU) member states, are expected to grow rapidly. This is driven by the new EU Instant Payments Regulation passed in February 2024. According to ACI’s 2024 Prime Time for Real-Time report, transactions across Europe are expected to rise from 17.2 billion in 2023 to 38.6 billion in 2028.

Instant payments: 13% of all electronic payments in Europe by 2028

By 2028, instant payments are forecast to account for 13% of electronic payments in Europe, up from 8% in 2023.

“Our partnership with ACI Worldwide has gone from strength to strength, and we are proud to have reached this milestone. By leveraging ACI’s state-of-the art technology, banks and PSPs across Europe can connect to STET’s Instant Payments CSM quickly and cost effectively, giving broad European reachability,” said Regis Folbaum, CEO, STET.

“Our platform enables banks and PSPs to process instant payments securely and at scale. So, they can benefit from instant payment growth opportunities, while also providing the best customer experience.”

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Nick Craig, head of Europe, ACI Worldwide, added: “ACI is uniquely positioned to provide interoperability and connectivity to all European and global schemes. This is crucial as efforts to build cross-border payments networks accelerate across the world. Central infrastructures, banks and PSPs are using ACI to maximise the use of their real-time rails and position themselves for the future growth of instant payments, whilst offering new and innovative service for their customers.”

ACI currently powers 26 domestic and pan-regional real-time schemes across six continents. This includes 10 central infrastructures, providing solutions to central banks, participant banks, fintechs and other PSPs.

Globally, ACI covers approximately one-third of the countries that offer real-time payments services. It reaches about 3 billion people served by various organisations, including central governments, payment networks, banks, financial institutions and fintech companies.

2024 Prime Time for Real Time Payments report published by ACI Worldwide

ACI Worldwide released the fifth edition of its Prime Time for Real Time report on 1 May. The global analysis of real-time payments adoption, developed in partnership with GlobalData, revealed that global real-time payments growth has reached sustainable levels. Some 266.2 billion real-time payments transactions were recorded in 2023, representing year-over-year (y-o-y) growth of 42.2%.

Prime Time for Real-Time Global Payments report is available to download via this link