PAINSTAKING waits for money to be transferred between different banks will soon be a thing of the past after the European Parliament modernised its payment regulations.

A new EU law now means that transfers between different banks must be free and almost instantaneous.

Regardless of day or time, the payment must be received by the payee within 10 seconds, with the payer informed whether the money has been successfully transferred or not within the same timeframe. 

The new regulations also state that users should not be hit by charges for instant payments.

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Bank transfers will be modernised after the approvement of new EU payment regulations. Credit: Cordon Press

Whilst Bizum, a free payment system supported by most Spanish banks, has modernised Spain’s banking system, many European countries still struggle with moving money.

Bank transfers can sometimes take several days with payers exposed to extortionate fees.

The new rules, approved by MEPS this Wednesday, January 7, will also apply to member states who do not use the euro as their currency, such as Sweden, Denmark and Poland. 

The regulations also force payment service providers (PSPs) to provide robust anti-fraud measures, such as allowing clients to set a maximum transfer amount, and providing a free service to verify the identity of the recipient.

The move was supported by an overwhelming majority within the European Parliament. Credit: European Union

PSPs should also verify whether their clients are subject to sanctions or other restrictive measures related to money laundering and terrorist financing.

The new law was voted in with 599 votes for and just seven votes against.

Michiel Hoogeveen, a Dutch MEP, said: “The Instant Payments Regulation marks the long-awaited modernisation of payments in the European single market. Customers can now say goodbye to the inconvenience of waiting two or three working days to access their money”.

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