EBICS and real-time notifications – time for a check-in

It has been more than two years since the Specification "Real-time notifications"  was published on the EBICS website www.ebics.org. I already addressed this topic in a blog post from October 2019. But what has actually become of it? And how has the use developed in practice?

The new interface for real-time notifications has in fact been implemented in the EBICS bank server by some institutions in Germany and is now being used productively by them. Of course, the associated new range of functions only makes sense if there are EBICS clients that use this interface. Under certain circumstances, this interface has thus also been implemented on the client side in corporate customer portals operated by financial institutions.

We remember: the added value of this new interface lies in the potentially faster feedback for SEPA instant payments in the EBICS channel as well as generally in needing fewer "hopeful queries" for download data. Where does that leave us?

Some financial institutions in Germany have implemented the concept. However, not every financial institution is able to offer this new service today. It may not or not yet be the focus for EBICS on the bank side. In addition to the new interface for real-time notifications in the direction of the customer, the prompt provision of the download data in the bank server is also one of the prerequisites for being able to offer customers added value for EBICS. To this end, continuous and timely provision from the back-end systems for the EBICS channel must be available at the financial institutions.

On the customer side, push notifications are of particular interest to corporate customers, for whom timeliness and proximity to real time are increasingly relevant. These EBICS customers have already partially implemented real-time notifications on the client side. Others who, for example, use a suitable corporate customer portal of the financial institution, may also be able to benefit from the new service without any action on their part. Nevertheless, not every EBICS client has the new WebSocket interface for real-time notifications.

The conclusion is that the real-time notification function has not yet reached the breadth of EBICS customers in 2022. So far, it is specialised corporate customers and institutional EBICS customers who rely on real-time notifications in the EBICS channel. For them, real time in payments processes represents a special added value for which an investment here and there is worthwhile. The financial institutions of these customers offer the appropriate service.

We can see that in general the topic of real time in payments still has some growth potential. It can therefore be assumed that real-time notifications in connection with EBICS will also become increasingly important. So let us stay tuned!

Author: Michael Lembcke