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Banksʼ tasks were factor in length of instant payments delay

The National Bank of Hungary (MNB) weighed a compliance deadline for an EU directive as well as end-of-year closing balance sheets when deciding on the timing of a delay in the rollout of instant payments, state news agency MTI reported Deputy Governor Mihály Patai as saying in an interview with business daily Világgazdaság.

Photo: Adriana Iacob /

As reported on Monday, the MNB announced that it is pushing back the date for the introduction of instant payments from July 1, 2019, to March 2, 2020.

Patai told Világgazdaság on Thursday that banks had said they required at most three months past the original deadline to be ready for the rollout, but an October launch would have come immediately after banks would be busy with a September deadline for complying with the regulatory technical standard of the EUʼs Payment Services Directive (PSD2).

Extending the instant payments deadline to the end of the year would coincide with banks closing their balance sheets, thus the decision was made to push the date back to March 2, 2020, he added.

Patai explained the choice of March 2, rather than March 1, noting that 2020 is a leap year, and the extra day in February "is not the easiest thing to manage in banking systems."