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STET and ACI Worldwide Cement Strong Partnership Processing 50Million Cross-Border Payments in 2023

Since 2017, STET, the European clearing and settlement systems (CSM) and ACI Worldwide, the real-time payments software provider, have been working together to offer seamless, instant payments across the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Seven years into the partnership, the firms have reached a new record high as over 35 billion transactions were completed in 2023.

This many transactions equates to a daily average of €25billion. Additionally, the firms processed more than 50 million cross-border real-time transactions in the past 12 months. This is set to increase by more than 50 per cent in 2024.

Regis Folbaum, CEO, STET.
Regis Folbaum, CEO, STET

“Our partnership with ACI Worldwide has gone from strength to strength, and we are proud to have reached this milestone. By leveraging ACI’s state-of-the art technology, banks and PSPs across Europe can connect to STET’s Instant Payments CSM quickly and cost effectively, giving broad European reachability,” said Regis Folbaum, CEO, STET.

“Our platform enables banks and PSPs to process instant payments securely and at scale, so they can benefit from instant payment growth opportunities, while also providing the best customer experience.”

ACI currently powers 26 domestic and pan-regional real-time schemes across six continents—including 10 central infrastructures. It provides solutions to central banks, participant banks, fintechs and other PSPs. Globally, ACI covers approximately one-third of the countries that offer real-time payments services, reaching about three billion people served by various organisations. These include central governments, payment networks, banks, financial institutions and fintech companies.

How was this achieved? 

Since the partnership was first announced, both STET and ACI Worldwide have been enabling payments for the SEPA Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme. This facilitated the transfer and settlement of instant payments with full pan-European reachability and contributed to making instant payment a strong foundation towards a unified European payment means.

STET’s platform uses ACI Low Value Real-Time Payments as a SaaS service, which offers sophisticated routing and processing capabilities. Its 20 member banks can, consequently, connect directly to the European schemes, TIPS and RT1, hence providing full pan-European reachability and interoperability for instant payments.

Nick Craig, head of Europe, ACI Worldwide
Nick Craig, head of Europe, ACI Worldwide

Instant payment transactions across SEPA, including the 27 European Union (EU) member states, are expected to grow rapidly. This will be driven by the new EU Instant Payments Regulation passed in February 2024. According to ACI’s 2024 Prime Time for Real-Time report, transactions across Europe are expected to rise from 17.2 billion in 2023 to 38.6 billion in 2028. Also by 2028, instant payments are forecast to account for 13 per cent of all electronic payments in Europe, up from eight per cent in 2023.

“ACI is uniquely positioned to provide interoperability and connectivity to all European and global schemes, which is crucial as efforts to build cross-border payments networks accelerate across the world, said Nick Craig, head of Europe, ACI Worldwide. “Central infrastructures, banks and PSPs are using ACI to maximise the use of their real-time rails and position themselves for the future growth of instant payments. All the while, they will continue to offer new and innovative service for their customers.”

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