The test phase is being hailed as a milestone in UniCredit’s project to offer instant payment products to its customer base in Europe. RT1 will first become available to the bank’s clients in Italy and Germany.
UniCredit is one of 29 banks planning on making instant payments available to customers in the single euro payment area (SEPA) on the launch date of the European Payment Council SEPA instant credit transfer scheme.
The scheme is intended to provide a pan-European, instant payment processing service that works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It will be available to account-service providers from November and, according to EBA Clearing, another 70 banks are preparing to connect to RT1 in 2018.
Jan Kupfer, global co-head of global transaction banking at UniCredit, commented: “The introduction of euro-denominated instant payments will enable us to better support the payment businesses of both our corporate and retail customers in the internal market.”
He added: "Widespread adoption and new, value-added services that optimise the customer experience will only serve to increase the benefits. In addition, UniCredit’s ongoing digital transformation program will be a further beneficiary of our connection to the new instant payments infrastructure.”
Hays Littlejohn, CEO of EBA CLEARING, said: “We are very pleased to count UniCredit among the early frontrunners actively preparing to join our RT1 system on the launch date of European instant payments and to roll out this highly attractive new payment method to a multinational customer base.”