Madis Müller: there is great demand in Estonia for faster payments

Estonia is moving together with the rest of the euro area firmly in the direction of interbank payments taking only seconds and being made on national holidays and weekends as well, said Deputy Governor of the central bank, Madis Müller, at a debate on instant payments held at Eesti Pank.

“There is certainly demand in Estonia for instant payments, as surveys show that 70% of people in Estonia want interbank transfers to be faster than they are at present. More than one third want money to reach the payee in less than five minutes”, explained Mr Müller.

He added that being a small country gives Estonia advantages. Currently SEB is the only bank that offers instant payments to its clients, but if only five banks join the instant payment system, it would be possible to make almost all interbank payments instantly.

The European Payments Council estimates that the majority of banks in the euro area will be offering their clients instant payments by 2020. So far, 580 banks in Europe have joined the instant payments system. SEB started to offer its clients the instant payment service from last November. All banks and payment service providers have been able to join the pan-European instant payment system since the end of November 2017. The system allows payments to be made from one bank to another within only seconds. In Latvia the instant payment service is offered by SEB and also by Citadele. An average of 10,000 instant payments are made in total in Europe each day, and the majority of those payments are initiated in the Baltic region.

Participants in the debate were Deputy Governor of Eesti Pank Madis Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Tallinna Kaubamaja group Raul Puusepp, Chairman of the Management Board of SEB Allan Parik, and Product Manager at TransferWise Lars Trunin. The panel discussion was chaired by technology journalist Ronald Liive.

For further information:
Eva Vahur
Public Relations Office
Eesti Pank
Eurosystem
Tel: 668 0965, mobile 5330 0619
Email:
eva.vahur [at] eestipank.ee (eva.vahur [at] eestipank.ee)
Press enquiries: press [at] eestipank.ee (press [at] eestipank.ee)