New instant payment features approved for Latvian banks

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The Council of Latvijas Banka, the Latvian central bank, said March 28 it had adopted several legal acts that would bring "new functionalities to instant payments in order to provide innovative financial services." 

The revised rules enable credit institutions and other financial service providers to use identifiers other than mobile phone numbers, linked to a customer's account (e.g. payment cards, e-mail addresses).

"The amendments also provide for the connection to TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) service, thereby improving the reachability of the EKS system's instant payment service users across the whole Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Currently, already 2057 payment service providers from 20 European countries provide instant payment services to their customers. In Latvia, instant payments are available to more than 90% of credit institution customers, and the connection to TIPS will broaden opportunities for individuals and businesses to exchange instant payments with the customers of credit institutions of other euro area countries," the central bank said.

All legal amendments will take effect on 15 April 2019. Latvijas Banka organizes and maintains the payment infrastructure in Latvia. The instant payment infrastructure, developed and maintained by Latvijas Banka, has been operating since 28 August 2017.

Instant payments can be executed at any hour of any day so customers do not have to rely upon a bank's working hours. According to the statistics compiled by Latvijas Banka, about 3.3 million instant payments with the total value of 650 million euro have been executed since the introduction of the instant payment service.

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