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ECB to explore cross-currency instant payments

6 October 2020

The ECB will investigate whether and how TARGET Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) could support payment transactions across different currencies. The investigation will begin as of October 2020 in collaboration with Sveriges Riksbank.

TIPS is a service that settles payments in central bank money in real time and around the clock. It currently supports the settlement of instant payments in euro, but also has the functional capability to support other currencies. TIPS will start to settle instant payments in Swedish kronor as of May 2022.

The ECB and Sveriges Riksbank will explore possible ways of enabling the TIPS platform to process cross-currency instant payments between euro and Swedish kronor. In practical terms, this would enable a Swedish consumer to transfer funds in kronor to a retailer in any euro area country, with the payment received in euro in a matter of seconds. A customer in the euro area could transfer euro in payment for goods in Sweden in the same way. Other countries, with other currencies, that join the TIPS platform could also benefit from cross-currency instant payments.

This initiative, which would further reinforce the strong cooperation that exists between central banks in Europe, comes as a response to the increasing consumer and business needs that stem from the growth of cross-border e-commerce, tourism and migration flows, and would benefit European consumers and businesses alike.