Money transfers to another account often take several days, but there is a solution in the form of real-time transfers. However, many banks charge additional fees for this service. Nevertheless, new EU regulations enable transfers within a few seconds, free of charge.
You might have noticed: besides the standard method, there's a faster way to transfer money. Real-time transfers move funds from account A to account B in just a few seconds. 'Normal' transfers take at least one day but can take longer due to public holidays or weekends.
The trick of the banks is that if you want to make a real-time transfer, many banks also demand an additional payment for this service. You'll have to pay a fee for the transfer. The amount of the fee varies from bank to bank and from account to account but can be several euros.
The EU Council and the European Parliament have agreed that this practice should come to an end in the future.
The final decision hasn't been made yet, but the direction is set: the new rules will be applied in the EU, as well as in Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein, after a transition period. However, the parliament and member states need to reach an agreement first.
According to the temporarily agreed rules, banks offering standard transfers in euros must also provide real-time transfers. Fees for express transfers must not exceed the charges for regular transfers. Since regular transfers are usually free, real-time transfers will also be free of charge.
As early as 2022, the European Commission introduced a proposal for a regulation to increase the adoption of fast transfers and facilitate consumer access.
According to a European Commission report, only about 11 percent of all transfers in the EU are processed in real-time, likely due to high fees. Once the decision is adopted, real-time money transfers could become the new standard.