On 30 November 2018, Banca d'Italia delivered TIPS (TARGET Instant Payment Settlement), a new service for the settlement of instant payments in central bank money, which was also compliant with the SCT Inst scheme. Conceived as a multi-currency settlement platform, TIPS was developed with the aim, inter alia, of fostering the integration of retail payment services offered by the European financial community and of eliminating barriers due to lack of interoperability between different settlement platforms.
The TIPS project is part of the Vision 2020 programme, which the Eurosystem has devised with the aim of providing new services to support financial markets, citizens, and businesses in Europe and to foster the innovation of market infrastructures and harmonization of financial services related to securities and cash. The Vision 2020 programme is part of the European Commission's Capital Markets Union project, aimed at achieving full integration of the European financial markets.
Building TIPS required the fulfilment of a number of particularly challenging technical requirements: virtually instant payment execution (with processing times per payment not exceeding 5 seconds); the capacity to handle a large volume of processed payments (over 43 million transactions per day); very high availability and resilience (with the capacity to restart within 15 minutes in a site disaster scenario); extreme scalability of the system from a performance viewpoint (the ability to sustain a doubling of the volume of payments over a year).
The use of instant payment services is growing across Europe and it is reasonable to expect that this trend will only increase in the years to come. It is in this context that Banca d'Italia has already identified a series of actions that aim to prepare TIPS to become an essential component of the foreseeable spread of instant payment services in Europe.