ECB launches feasibility study into instant cross-currency merchant payments in Europe

Target Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) graphic
FEASIBILITY: Swedish consumers may benefit from instant cross-currency transactions from 2022

Swedish consumers could be able to make and receive low-cost instant cross-currency transactions to and from any euro area country via the Target Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) platform once the Swedish kronor joins the platform in May 2022.

TIPS currently supports real-time cross-border payments and fund transfers between accounts held in euros, but the European Central Bank (ECB), in collaboration with Sveriges Riksbank, is now launching an investigation into whether and how the platform could be extended to support payments between different currencies.

“The ECB and Sveriges Riksbank will explore possible ways of enabling the TIPS platform to process cross-currency instant payments between euro and Swedish kronor,” the ECB says.

“In practical terms, this would enable a Swedish consumer to transfer funds in kronor to a retailer in any euro area country, with the payment received in euro in a matter of seconds.

“A customer in the euro area could transfer euro in payment for goods in Sweden in the same way.

“Other countries, with other currencies, that join the TIPS platform could also benefit from cross-currency instant payments.”

The ECB has launched the investigation “as a response to the increasing consumer and business needs that stem from the growth of cross-border ecommerce, tourism and migration flows”.

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