Payments Report 2024

Are payments in Sweden efficient?

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Instant payments contribute to greater efficiency

Published: 14 March 2024

The instant execution of payments contributes to a more efficient payment system for several reasons. Among other things, it reduces the need for intermediaries for e.g. clearing. If companies can get money in their account instantly, they can control their cash flow in real time. In addition, recipients of social benefits, insurance money or refunds, for example, may benefit from having access to their money immediately instead of having to wait one or more days.

However, there are also potential disadvantages to instant payments. For example, it may be more difficult to implement anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing controls in real time and fraud will be harder to stop. Instant payments are also not suitable for reservation purchases such as paying for fuel or hotel stays.

In Sweden, Swish is currently the only solution for instant payments. In our neighbouring countries, on the other hand, it is possible to make instant payments from a mobile or online bank, which you can read more about in Section The digitalisation of payments is a global trend. Many merchants want more payment solutions for instant payments, according to the Riksbank’s retailer survey for the e-krona. Through RIX-INST, which is the Riksbank’s system for instant payments, the Riksbank has created the conditions for more forms of instant payments in Swedish kronor. In 2024, Swish payments have started to be implemented in the system, but banks should also offer other types of instant payments that can be made using, for example, online banking. This would open the door for other payment service providers to develop new services for instant payments through, for example, open banking, which is good for competition in the payments market.