Press release

CaixaBank among the first European banks to harness the new instant transfer system

The service begins today as a pilot programme for interbank transactions only, supporting transfers of up to 15,000 euros in less than 10 seconds

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Image of the instant payments service

• The bank has completed its first transaction under the new European Payments Council instant fund transfer scheme, making a payment to an account at Erste Bank (Austria).

• The service will be available to CaixaBank clients as of Tuesday 21 November, which is the first day that the service goes into commercial use.

• The launch of pan-European instant fund transfers further strengthens CaixaBank’s commitment to technological leadership.

This morning CaixaBank completed its first transfer under the European Payments Council’s instant credit transfer scheme. The financial institution thus established itself as one of the first international banks to harness the new pan-European scheme for transferring money between accounts. Specifically, CaixaBank sent a transfer of funds to an account held at Austria’s Erste Bank. The recipients confirmed that the transfer had arrived within five seconds. 

These instant transfers are based on a new scheme that allows payments of up to 15,000 euros to any account in Europe, with the funds being received in less than 10 seconds. The scheme’s multiple benefits include instant confirmation to the payer that the transfer has been made and received, while recipients have immediate access to the transferred funds.

The instant transfer application was launched today as a pilot scheme exclusively for transfers between those banks taking part in the project and that have implemented the required technology. CaixaBank has set up all the required systems to send and receive instant transfers to and from all of Europe, and will make the service available to customers as of Tuesday 21 November, the first day that the system will be up and running for commercial use.

Service available to customers as of 21 November

Any customer wishing to make instant transfers will be able to access the service at their CaixaBank branch and likewise via the online Línea Abierta service, which is compatible with all web browsers and mobile devices. The option will appear as of 21 November, supporting transfers sent to and received from other European financial institutions.

Initially the fund transfer service will only be available to those banks that have the required technology in place. At present some are only able to receive fund transfers, while others will introduce the technology over the coming months. Only CaixaBank and a handful of European banks are fully ready to send and receive instant transfers.

CaixaBank, the leading bank in innovation

The launch of the instant fund transfer service strengthens CaixaBank’s commitment to technological leadership. The bank is considered a leading driver of innovation in financial services worldwide, serving 5.6 million online banking customers, of which 4.1 million are mobile banking users. CaixaBank likewise leads the electronic banking market, with more than 15.5 million cards in circulation and a market share in terms of turnover of 23.3%.

Numerous CaixaBank projects have marked technological milestones in the industry, such as Europe’s first commercial deployment of contactless payment and mobile payment systems, the rollout of the world’s first contactless ATMs, the launch of imaginBank, the first mobile-only bank in Spain; and development of the first customer service applications to harness artificial intelligence.

Likewise, the bank was the first in Spain to fully adapt all transfer and payment services to the new Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). Since the system was introduced, CaixaBank has processed more than 400 million SEPA transfers to countries across Europe.

In 2017, The Banker, part of the Financial Times Group, picked out the launch of the imaginBank chatbot as the year’s best technology project. Said service uses artificial intelligence to notify customers of exclusive offers and discounts. Likewise, Global Finance magazine named CaixaBank as the Best Digital Bank in Spain, the Best Digital bank in Western Europe 2017, and the World’s Best Bank in Social media 2017.