Bank customers will soon be able to transfer money across Europe within seconds after the EU adopted a law on Monday forcing banks to offer bloc-wide instant payments.

Under the new rules, people in Europe will be able to transfer money within 10 seconds at any time of the day, including outside business hours, in the same country and to any other EU country.

The law is expected to enter into force formally by April, and banks in the eurozone single currency area must allow instant payments within 18 months of that date.

The EU's 27 member states approved the law Monday, after an earlier green light from the European Parliament.

If banks apply any charges, they must be no higher than for standard credit transfers, the European Council, representing the member states, said in a statement.

Banks in the non-eurozone area have until 2027 to comply, while for instant payments made from an account in a local currency they will have until 2028.

Currently, several EU countries allow free transfers that take a day or two while instant payments are offered at a higher rate and unavailable for cross-border transfers.