Switch to SEPA Slows Domestic Interbank Transfers
The era of rapid domestic interbank money transfers ended over the weekend, with Estonians with accounts at different banks now having to wait up to 5 hours for the payee's account to be credited.
Seen as illustrating the extent to which Estonia's own electronic banking sector was ahead of Europe's systems, the changes in speed and efficiency are due to the changeover to the Single European Payment Area.
Instead of the previous one hour to 90 minutes (sometimes faster), transfers will take three to five hours.
Customers who want their transfer to arrive on the same banking day will have to set up the payment by 16:30 at most banks, with Nordea having a policy of 15:30.
If a payment is initiated later, it will arrive on the recipient's account around 10:00 the next day.
Payments within the same bank will be unaffected, however.