Instant transactions now possible at State Treasury

As of Tuesday, February 1, instant transactions or so-called 'lightning payments' can be executed with the state, since the Latvian State Treasury has joined the instant payment infrastructure maintained by Latvijas Banka, the Latvian central bank (LB) said in a release.

"This means that payments to the government budget are made within a few seconds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including weekends and holidays," LB said.

"People and businesses will notice these changes in their daily lives when making payments to the Treasury, including payments to the government budget (stamp duties, fines, etc.) and payments for pay-services provided by government budget institutions."

Instant payments from State Treasury and Latvian central bank

It will be possible to make instant payments to the Treasury's accounts from the accounts of the Latvian credit institutions providing instant payment services, i.e. AS Citadele banka, Swedbank AS, AS SEB banka, Signet Bank AS, AS BlueOrange Bank, AS Reģionālā investīciju banka, Baltic International Bank SE and AS LPB Bank, as well as from accounts of credit institutions of the Baltic countries and the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) countries that provide instant payments (in total, more than 2000 credit institutions). Luminor Bank AS is also expected to start providing instant payments soon.

The maximum limit per instant payment in Europe and subsequently also in the instant payment infrastructure maintained by Latvijas Banka is 100,000 euros. However, each financial institution may also set a lower limit of outgoing payments for its customers.

"Joining the instant payment infrastructure maintained by Latvijas Banka contributes to the digitalisation of the financial sector and public administration, providing innovative and instant transactions between the recipients of public services and the government budget. Instant payments allow for further development of the services provided by public administration, e.g. via the introduction of instant payment requests," said Treasurer Kaspars Āboliņš.

Latvia was the first eurozone country to introduce instant payments, as previously reported by LSM.

Latvijas Banka and the Treasury will continue cooperation in the field of public service innovation, the institutions pledged.

In 2021, the volume and value of instant payments made between banks in the electronic clearing system of Latvijas Banka were 18.39 million and 6.35 billion euro respectively (by comparison, the volume and value of instant payments made in 2020 were 11.85 million and 2.49 billion euro respectively). The share of instant payments made between Latvian credit institutions increased approximately to 26%, while their share in the payments between credit institutions exceeded 75%.

 

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