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Iberpay and Banco Santander Successfully Process First EPC Instant International Transfers

On 14 May, Spain-based Banco Santander and Iberpay, the Spanish retail payment system, processed the first international instant transfers based on the European Payments Council‘s (EPC’s) ‘One-Leg Out’ scheme, initiated and completed in different currency areas.

The One-Leg Out scheme enables payment service providers (PSPs) in the SEPA area to process instant international transfers from and to countries outside Europe, in just a few seconds and available 24/7, avoiding differences between time zones worldwide, whilst leveraging existing instant payment standards and systems in Europe based on the EPC’s SCT Inst scheme.

The scheme enables transactions to take place from Europe to anywhere in the world, from Euros to any currency, or vice versa.

This system hopes to significantly improve the customer’s user experience, facilitate the creation of new use cases, and enable the development of highly innovative payment services that compete with new players in the international payments sector.

The service provided by Iberpay is based on the same technology as instant credit transfers in euros, which today corresponds to over 53 per cent of all credit transfers processed in Spain. With the new operational procedure implemented, the start or end of international payments within the euro area between the intermediary bank and the initial ordering bank, or the final beneficiary bank, is significantly accelerated.

Among the main advantages of this solution are the ability to process international payments in seconds and 24×7, greater transparency of information and end-to-end payment traceability.

Strengthening competitiveness in payments

With this initiative, Santander also moves towards fully leveraging the benefits from the connectivity of its global technological platform, facilitating the complete payment cycle for its personal and corporate clients, and simplifying the value proposition.

Juan Luis Encinas, CEO of Iberpay, discussed the news: “The implementation of the One-Leg Out scheme marks a key strategic milestone for payments in Europe and reinforces Iberpay’s strategic position as one of the most advanced payment systems, demonstrating our commitment to significantly improve international payments between different currencies in terms of processing speed, 24/7 operation, information transparency, accessibility, and cost reduction.

“Providing the first infrastructure in Europe and the necessary services for processing instant international transfers between different currencies represents a very significant step for Iberpay, allowing our banks to offer new and innovative services, improve the experience for their customers, and strengthen their competitiveness in the global payments industry.”

Streamlining international payments

The One-Leg Out scheme was designed to streamline international payments that require currency exchange in terms of speed, availability, cost, accessibility, and transparency, in line with the strategy and roadmap set by the G20 and other international organisations such as the European Commission, the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund, as well as with the objectives for improving these international payments established by the Financial Stability Forum (FSB) by 2027.

Jaime Uscola, director of enterprise products, international business and payments at Banco Santander, also discussed the milestone achieved with Iberpay: “We are proud to be pioneers launching this innovative service, making it available to our customers and adapting to their needs. Santander is committed to advancing and taking all necessary steps in order to evolve in international instant payments, adapting our offerings to the needs of all our clients, and this movement is a clear example of that commitment.”

Santander continues to enhance the digital capabilities of companies, and last year launched in Spain One Trade Multinationals, a new treasury management solution aimed at companies with international presence, which provides them with a unified view of their subsidiaries worldwide.

The Spanish banking community has agreed to the full adoption of this service starting in October this year, and for this purpose, the rest of the banks are preparing to connect to Iberpay’s service over the coming months.

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