Payment schemes allow you to transfer money digitally from account to account.
When you make an account-to-account transfer within the UK via TrueLayer, the money moves through the Faster Payments scheme. These payments are free, and the money usually arrives in your beneficiary's account within a few seconds (though it can take up to 2 hours).
When you make a payment in Europe via TrueLayer, it uses one of two payment schemes:
- SEPA Instant
- SEPA Credit
Introduced in 2017, SEPA Instant enables faster and easier cross-border payments by giving users a way to transfer money in real time.
But SEPA Instant is optional — EU banks don’t have to provide it, and little more than half currently do. However, this number is increasing gradually, because regulatory change requires all banks that offer regular credit transfers to offer instant transfers too.
This table explains the differences between the payment schemes.
|Recommended use case
|A few minutes
|24/7, 365 days a year
|Payments in the UK
|Fees usually charged
|24/7, 365 days a year
|Some European providers
|High-value, time-critical payments where the recipient needs to receive the money as soon as possible.
|1–2 business days, sometimes up to 3
|Usually none, but sometimes fees are charged
|Within business hours.
Not available on weekends or public holidays, and impacted by remitter and beneficiary bank cut-off times
|All European providers
|Transactions where the recipient does not need to receive the funds immediately, such as business payments or salary disbursements.
SEPA Instant availability
If you have an account on Console, see our providers table for details on which providers support SEPA Instant.
Both SEPA Instant and SEPA Credit use the ISO 20022 standard for messaging, and are regulated by the European Central Bank.
Be aware that many people in Europe are unfamiliar with the terms SEPA Credit and SEPA Instant. We recommend not using these terms in your checkout.
When there is a fee for SEPA Instant payments, it is normally the end user who pays them. So it's important to communicate potential fees clearly and transparently to your users.
Below is a guide to typical flat fee amounts by country. Be aware that fees will differ from bank to bank, and some banks charge a percentage-based fee which may be much higher.
Be aware of IBAN discrimination
Sometimes, fees change depending on which IBAN you receive payments with. Use a TrueLayer merchant account to bypass this.
If you want to use a specific scheme for a payment:
user_selectedand use the
excludesfilters in the
preselectedand set the
scheme_idto one of the values in the table below.
|Chosen by provider
scheme_id is only used by some providers who choose the payment scheme themselves (for example, Revolut). We cannot guarantee that payments are instant when you use
provider_determined for the
scheme_id, so providers that use it are treated as non-instant when you select a provider.
You cannot make payments over €100,000 through SEPA Instant.
Updated 10 days ago