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Instant payments: how to send and receive money in a matter of seconds

Instant payments allow money to reach its destination instantaneously, avoiding the inconveniences of conventional transfers

Although the Internet has imposed the presto, some financial and banking mechanisms are not adapted to this time and continue to operate in adagio. This is the case with money transfers, which can still be slow and cumbersome, even when speed is critical. And it is precisely for this reason that instant payments were created.

There are certain concepts where the name says it all. This is one of them. Instant payments are when the money reaches its destination at the same moment it is transferred. They are practically instantaneous, as they usually take no less than ten seconds to travel from one account to another.

As a general rule, these processes tend to take much longer. Conventional transfers take hours or days to arrive, especially considering that weekends, holidays and other non-business days do not count. And this is already an improvement over the past when timescales were even longer.

This means, for example, that a transfer sent on a Friday does not reach its recipient until Monday. And during that time, neither the sender nor the receiver can enjoy the money.

On the other hand, with instant payments, the day and time are unimportant. Even if it is Saturday at four o’clock in the morning, the amount can be transferred in seconds without any problem. This speed and time flexibility are two of its great attractions, making many people send money using this method.

Fees and maximum amount for instant payments

This service is present in more and more banks. At present, it is rare that it still does not include it in its menu. But there is an abysmal difference between one and another. And the reason lies in the price of the transfer itself.

In some banks, instant payments are free of charge, and their customers can send money without incurring additional costs. Others, however, charge a fee for each transaction. The bank determines this amount and varies significantly from one bank to another: in some banks, it is less than one euro, while in others, it can be as much as ten euros.

What about the maximum amount? Until July 2020, the largest amount instant payments could send was 15,000 euros. But just over three years ago, it was decided to increase this figure, whose ceiling is currently set at 100,000, although some entities set a lower limit.

On the other hand, it is essential to remember that instant payments cannot be canceled. Therefore, it is important to make sure that all data are correct. Especially those of the recipient, since, if it arrives by mistake to another account, it will be necessary to request the bank’s intervention, which will contact the person who received the payment so that he/she returns the money. And the recovery process is not always quick and easy, so the transfer will be anything but immediate.

Also, ensure that the beneficiary has a bank account that accepts this service. Otherwise, the transaction will be erroneous or take much longer to arrive, losing the sense of immediacy.

Instant payments have a maximum amount of 100,000 euros

A mechanism reserved for certain countries

While it is true that instant payments have erased many of the borders when sending money between different countries, it is not possible to use them to send money to the United States, Latin America or Asia. They only work in countries belonging to the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area).

This area comprises 36 nations, including all the member states of the European Union. It was created so that the citizens of these regions would have the same conditions when sending and receiving money, thus ending inequalities.

As its name indicates, the currency sent during these operations can only be one: euros. After all, instant payments are promoted by the European Central Bank and the European Payments Council.

Thus, any inhabitant of these countries can make this type of transfer if his bank allows him. To do so, they have two options: to go in person to a branch to manage it with the help of the office staff or to do it directly from home with an electronic device through the online banking service.

Other alternatives to instant payments

As we have seen above, sending money can be delayed if it is done through a conventional payment. The only exception is when the two accounts belong to the same bank. These movements, called transfers, are usually more agile.

For this reason, if you want to transfer the money immediately to another bank, conventional payments are usually not the best tool. So, what are the alternatives to instant payments?

The simplicity and speed that characterize Bizum have made this solution popular, especially in recent years. Thanks to this application, anyone can send money from their cell phone in just a few steps, and the recipient enjoys that amount instantly.

However, certain limitations may dissuade certain users from using it since this service does not allow sending more than 500 euros in each operation, with a monthly limit of 5,000 euros. Thus, it is not the best ally when large amounts must be transferred.

On the other hand, some people resort to urgent transfers or OMF transfers (Órdenes de Movimientos de Fondos), which the Bank of Spain manages. These are paid on the same day unless ordered after 16:00, in which case they will be processed on the next working day. Therefore, they are not as flexible as instant payments, and banks usually charge commissions that can be quite considerable.

When there is some urgency and the volumes of money are more significant, instant payments remain one of the most advantageous options.

Charge your Inversa account with instant payments

Instant payments are, in short, a very useful and efficient solution. That is why more and more investment platforms are beginning to accept them. In Inversa Invoice Market, for example, it is possible to use them to send money to the investment account and load it instantly. An essential functionality.

Let’s suppose we find an invoice with very favorable conditions. The interest rate is high, the risk level is minimal, and the maturity date is the desired one… We want to inject capital into it, but all the money in the Inversa account is invested in other invoices whose term has not expired.

However, the desired invoice is already more than 80% covered, so it may soon no longer be available, and it is crucial to top up the account as soon as possible.

If this happens on a Friday afternoon, the ordered transfers may not be processed until Monday, and this investment opportunity will likely be lost. For example, this situation could occur after the announcement of the week’s invoice, which is published every Friday.

But with instant payments already accepted on the alternative financing platform, it is possible to top up the Inversa account in the blink of an eye and finance the desired invoices at any time without bureaucracy being an obstacle.

Investing has never been so fast.

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