The European Central Bank (ECB) said it will set up an instant payment system across the eurozone allowing consumers and firms to send money "within a matter of seconds".

Europe's central bank said the system, called TIPS (Target Instant Payment Settlement), will operate around the clock, every day of the year.

It said the new network "will allow citizens and firms to make payments via their bank anywhere in the euro area within a matter of seconds", and is scheduled to come into operation next November.

Currently, it can take up to one business day for money transfers to move across the eurozone.

Real time transfer facilities are already available for large volume payments, but the new service will be on offer to smaller firms and individuals.

Retail banks will be able to use TIPS at a maximum price of 0.20 cents per payment for at least the first two years. The ECB said the new payments system will "further enhance the euro area's integration".

Instant payments are already available in Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, but the proposed ECB system will offer the same service across the 19 nations in the eurozone. The new system will also pave the way for consumers to make person-to-person mobile payments, said the ECB.