With two schemes in place and growth of 215% YOY, plus adoption across banks, merchants and billers, Spain is a fast-developing IP market.

Spain has offered SCT Inst since its launch in 2017, enabling customers to transfer money to accounts at participating banks in the payments network, and facilitating P2P, C2B, B2C and B2B payments directly between accounts via different channels such as online and mobile banking. SCT Inst transactions in Spain are processed by Iberpay, the local Clearing and Settlement Mechanisms.

Even before the launch of SCT Inst, the Spanish market utilized Bizum — a mobile payments solution that facilitates IP. It was launched by 27 Spanish banks in October 2016 and operates 24/7/365. The solution enables transactions directly between accounts using a recipient’s linked mobile phone number, and is accessed through the Bizum integration within banks’ apps. It allows users to conduct P2P and online transactions instantly, with plans to launch in-store support in the near future. All transactions made through Bizum are settled within five seconds, and there’s a per-transaction limit of €1,000 ($1,146). To use the solution, a user needs a bank account with any participating bank as well as a mobile number.



  • Consumers
  • Banks
  • Merchants
  • Billers



Population banking level


Number of debit, credit and charge cards per adult


Index to global average



Key statistics


IP launch year

Immediate payments types

Single instance, bulk payments

Initiation & authorization

Bank account, mobile number, QR code

ISO 20022

Message standard









% of adults who have a mobile wallet and have used it in the past year

Share of volumes by payments instrument



Spend (USD)

  • Paper-based payments
  • Electronic payments
  • Immediate payments

Immediate payments volume and its share in overall non-paper-based transactions, 2018-24f

% of total electronic payments transaction volume


Spain has one of the more developed IP markets in Europe, though both SCT Inst and Bizum are still relatively new. Within Spain’s payments landscape, there is currently a high-level reliance on paper-based payments, and lower card ownership rates, both of which are indicators of rapid IP adoption in the future.

Spain also features two IP services for consumers to use, including a highly accessible mobile application — which means IP presents a strong alternative to other payment types, particularly paper-based instruments.

The strongest growth rates are anticipated to last through 2022, but growth should remain stable throughout the next five years.

ACI’s take

Spain has a historically proven appetite for digital payments, being early adopters of mobile, and now high-volume users of contactless payments and mobile wallets. But despite being home to mega-players in the global digital transformation scene, Spain’s financial institutions have struggled with fragmentation domestically that inhibits adoption of IP.

However, PSD2 is on the horizon, which could provide the impetus to consolidate some of the disparate services and players into a true Spanish IP ecosystem. If Spain can overcome the current ubiquity challenge, it has the ingredients for IP success. When combined with its track record of exporting innovation, perhaps the rest of the world should consider how it can leverage Spain’s current IP innovations.


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