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Work on cross-currency instant payments in TIPS moves forward

23 June 2021

The European Central Bank (ECB) and Sveriges Riksbank continue investigating how TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) could support the settlement of instant payments between the euro and the Swedish krona.

Work to enable a cross-currency capability in TIPS began in October 2020, when the ECB and Sveriges Riksbank announced their collaboration to explore whether the platform could process transactions between the euro and the Swedish krona. The next step in the investigation is to define the operational model and legal set-up of a potential cross-currency settlement feature in TIPS.

The Governing Council of the ECB believes that the investigation of a cross-currency settlement functionality in TIPS should continue as it is in line with the Eurosystem’s strategic objectives. Improving cross-border payments beyond the European Union is a key goal of the Eurosystem’s retail payment strategy to better support European businesses and individuals who make and receive payments overseas. Currently, consumers and businesses face high costs of sending or receiving payments to or from a country outside of the euro area. Central banks around the world are exploring initiatives to make cross-border payments more accessible to the end user. The cross-currency investigation in TIPS contributes to this effort and deepens the understanding of the practical challenges to be addressed when implementing cross-border payment initiatives.

TIPS is expected to offer instant payment settlement in Swedish krona as of May 2022, when Sveriges Riksbank will join the platform. Instant payments in Danish krone could also be available by November 2025 at the latest, when Danmarks Nationalbank is also scheduled to join. With the inclusion of Swedish and Danish currencies, TIPS will be a fully active multi-currency service, which is the basis for advancing it into a cross-currency system. Danmarks Nationalbank has also expressed its interest in the potential cross-currency settlement option in TIPS.