Instant payments are electronic retail payments that guarantee funds are transferred from the payer to the payee instantly (within 10 seconds), on a 24/7/365 basis. TIPS service was developed in November 2018 by the Eurosystem in order to ensure access to instant payments throughout Europe. TIPS enables Payment Service Providers (PSPs) to offer instant payment services on a pan-European basis. Also, both natural persons and businesses are able to transfer funds within a few seconds, regardless of the PSPs’ operating hours.
TIPS is based on the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) Instant Credit Transfer (SCT Inst) scheme developed by the European Payments Council (EPC). It is environmentally friendly (producing significantly low carbon emissions) and compatible with the strict specifications, set by the Eurosystem within its oversight framework, concerning cyber-attack resilience for Financial Market Infrastructures.
In July 2020, the ECB’s Governing Council decided to take effective measures to increase the pan-European reach of instant payments, allowing ancillary systems that offer instant payment services (such as DIAS in Greece) to participate in TIPS.
A PSP can technically connect to TIPS either directly, using a Network Service Provider acting on their behalf, or indirectly using services offered by an Instructing Party (like DIAS).
In order to adhere to TIPS, DIAS in January 2021 decided to:
As of 10th of December 2021, DIAS has been connected to TIPS in cooperation with the Bank of Greece (operator of the Greek component of the TARGET system) and the domestic financial system. As a result, payment service users in Greece can make and receive instant payments both on a domestic and a cross-border level, based on harmonized rules and standards. Hence, instant payments become user-friendly, offering the opportunity to be widely adopted as means of payment.