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20 July, 2024
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Cyprus to roll out 10-second euro transfers across banks

European Parliament greenlights instant euro transfers

Panayiotis Rougalas

Panayiotis Rougalas

Over the next 18 months, Cyprus is poised to revolutionize money transfers, promising seamless transactions within 10 seconds from bank to bank. In a landmark move, the European Parliament has endorsed new regulations aimed at ensuring swift fund transfers for retail and business customers across the Union, with Cyprus tasked to implement the directive within the stipulated timeframe.

Insights from banking sources, as reported by "K" in its print edition, hint that the full 18-month window may not be necessary. Projections suggest that by February 2025, transferred amounts will swiftly find their way into the bank accounts of retail and business customers across the European Union.

These regulations place a premium on transaction security, mandating robust fraud detection and recipient verification mechanisms. Moreover, customers will enjoy the benefit of setting maximum limits for direct payments, all without incurring additional charges.

In the Cypriot context, two potential scenarios are under consideration for implementing the Euro bank transfer agreement within 10 seconds to local banks. Users may opt to transfer funds directly to other banks through dedicated apps or leverage a unified platform, akin to the Greek "IRIS," with participation from all banks. Collective decisions on this matter are pending, with Cypriot banks expected to chart their course in the near future.

As per the European accord, direct euro transfers will be executed promptly, regardless of the time or day of the request, with immediate confirmation provided to payers regarding fund availability to the payee. While member states outside the Eurozone will need to align with the rules for accounts offering euro transactions, exceptions to the 10-second transfer rule may apply for transactions initiated outside standard business hours, addressing concerns about accessing foreign exchange liquidity.

The paramount focus remains on security. Payment service providers are mandated to implement stringent fraud prevention measures and offer identity verification services without imposing additional charges. Customers will also have the flexibility to set maximum transfer amounts effortlessly. Any failure to prevent fraud may invite compensation claims against the provider under the new regulations. Providers facilitating direct transfers must also conduct thorough screenings to identify potential sanctions or money laundering activities among their customers.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  EU  |  banks  |  economy  |  money  |  transfers  |  parliament

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