Request to Pay is a messaging functionality whereby a payee can initiate a payment request to the payer, who receives a message with the requested amount and due date. Request to Pay solutions are evolving, and changes to the SEPA Request to Pay (SRTP) Rulebook of the European Payments Council (EPC) are planned. These changes are expected to be published in November 2021, with implementation in 2022.

To provide an update on the strategic priorities of the RTP and the most important updates of this second version of the SRTP Rulebook, the ABBL and Sopra Banking Software organised a webinar on 16 November.

A strategic priority

RTP has been identified as a strategic priority for the payments industry and for ABBL members. Considered by many professionals as a missing link between instant payment clearing and innovative customer solutions, it provides a 24/7/365 enhanced experience for the end consumer, while offering more control and visibility to customers and businesses.

ABBL members have expressed their interest in addressing the roll-out of RTP at ABBL level by 2022 or 2023 at the latest. Agreement within the PSP community on how to interpret and implement RTP would be welcome. Furthermore, members are willing to share internal timetables within the community in order to agree on common timetables.

For which use cases?

Regarding the situations where the RTP scheme would be most useful, the EPC put the question to professionals working in the payments industry: more than half of the voters agreed that C2M/M2C, as well as other B2C/C2B would be the payment situations where RTP would be most useful.

Results of the EPC poll on the use cases of the SEPA Request-to-Pay

The SRTP scheme

The SRTP scheme, published in its first version in 2020, is an optional pan-European standard, based on the exchange of ISO 20022 messages, rendered unitary, in real time and with high availability. Adherents of this principle can be PSPs and non-PSPs.

Although this scheme allows for an n-corners model, the 4-corners model is the one promoted by the EPC.

The EPC expects SRTP service providers to be certified by an official homologation body in order to be certified as compliant with the SRTP regulation.

v2 of the RTP scheme: important changes

The second version of the EPC’s SEPA Request-to-Pay (SRTP) is expected to be published at the end of this month. The following requests for changes to the FPC Regulation were identified during the webinar as the most important:

  • Flexibility for the payee and payer to adapt the payment instrument
  • Response time service level
  • Redirection option
  • Sending the status update request to the payer
  • Payee registration and payer activation
  • Adding a URL
  • Payment guarantee
  • Request for instalment payment

The RTP API specifications

At the end of September 2021, the Berlin Group defined the core RTP services in a first version of the RTP API (application programming interface) specifications, with corresponding business rules and implementation guidelines.

These specifications will be extended by future work on the Open Finance API Framework, such as

  • the integration of electronic documents in RTP messages
  • the enhancement of possible payment methods, i.e. payment with a fixed payment schedule or payment with a loan

EBA Clearing has also published its specification in 2021 and guidance is expected from STET in early 2022.

By Galina Miroshnichenko