Many people have been bewildered for a long time over the time it takes for bank transfers to become effective – after all, money disappears from the senders account immediately, but often does not reappear in the recipients account for days, especially if a weekend comes into play and this constant time lag, which has not been reduced even in an age where almost instant online communication is an everyday reality, has led to nagging suspicions on the part of customers that somehow the bank may be holding the money overnight and making interest on it.
But as of Wednesday 14th February, such worries can at least partly be paid to rest, as a new system comes into operation in the Eurozone by which up to 15,000 euros can be transferred instantly from one account to the other. Well, almost instantly: it is estimated that on average it will take ten seconds for both sides of the transaction to be completed!
It was already reported last November that among the Spanish banks subscribing to the new system are Santander, BBVA, Caixabank, Bankia, Sabadell and Abanca, while Bankinter is still experimenting with it before jumping on board. In the meantime, Bankinter customers can already carry out instant transfers using the Bizum system.
In theory the implementation of this new system is obligatory in all Eurozone banks by the end of 2018, although initially it is being made available primarily in Spain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
The main doubt over how the new system will work concerns the charges which may be imposed by each individual bank: some analysts believe that eventually it will be free, while others anticipate charges of between 20 and 50 cents per transaction.
Meanwhile, it should be pointed out that transfers of over 15,000 euros will still be subject to the same time delay as has been the case until now.
Source: Spanish News Today, February 2018