Sweden has become the latest country to join the European Central Bank’s (ECB) real-time settlement platform in a bid to ease electronic payments.

Sweden got access to the Eurosystem’s TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) after the ECB, the Eurosystem and Sveriges Riksbank reached a cooperation agreement.

TIPS, which is in use in the euro area since November 2018, is used to settle instant payments in euro.

The instant payments platform allows payment services providers to transfer and settle their clients’ funds in real-time, around the clock. It settles the payments in central bank money.

The deal, which will take effect in 2022, will support the Swedish instant payment service, known as RIX-INST.

Under the agreement, electronic payments made in Swedish krona can be settled on the settlement platform for instant payments operated by the Eurosystem.

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Presently, the daily average number of instant payments in Sweden stands at 1.5 million per day.

ECB president Christine Lagarde said: “In crisis times, this agreement is a good example of strong cooperation between central banks in Europe.

“Our real-time settlement platform is a pivotal contribution to Europe’s endeavours to satisfy citizens’ increasing demand for faster, cheaper and convenient payment services without compromising on security.”

The agreement comes close on the heels of the ECB extending the timeline for the review of its monetary policy amidst the coronavirus outbreak.