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Conference Organized by the National Bank: Significant Improvements on the Market of Payment Services in the Country Will be Stimulated

Ohrid, June 4th, 2019

Amendments to the regulation currently undergoing preparation would stimulate significant improvements on the market of payment services in the country. This, amongst other matters, was stressed today in Ohrid, during the 12th Conference on Payments and Market Infrastructure, organized by the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia, in cooperation with De Nederlandsche Bank. The conference was addressed by the Minister of Finance, Dragan Tevdovski and the Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski.
 
During his speech, Minister Tevdovski stressed that the Law on Payment Services and Payment Systems, which is jointly drafted by the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank and was mentioned by Governor Anita Angelovska Bezhoska during the Conference yesterday, would allow liberalization on the market of payment services and entrance of non-banking institutions, such as payment institutions and institutions for electronic money. "This law would be a significant step towards changes in the payment environment. The business community, particularly the fintech companies, are those that should introduce new, innovative payment methods- easily accessible and at lower cost. Market liberalization would also increase competition, whereby banks and other financial institutions would be given an incentive to be more active in application of technological innovations in the financial sector", said Tevdovski.
 
He highlighted that, with a view to attract companies, primarily those operating in the ICT industires, payment institutions that would be engaged with limited type and scope of activities are anticipated to be founded with a capital investment of 1.3 million MKD, instead of the current 7.8 million MKD.
In terms of market infrastructure, particularly focusing on access to capital, the Minister of Finance noted that conditions are created to apply crowdfunding in the country, and this is of utmost importance to start-up companies.
 
The Minister of Information Society and Administration, Damjan Manchevski, stressed that the benefits from novelties in the information technologies are necessary for economic growth and that we must be prepared to face challenges brought upon by the swift technologic development, and to accept changes taking place at global level.
 
"The process of digital transformation is long and far from simple; however, in the past years we have made significant steps to create preconditions to facilitate this process in our country. The preconditions in question do not only cover the technical aspect thereof, but also include legal grounds, particularly in the field of financial infrastructure. With a view to promote economic development, we also work towards implementation of solid digital infrastructure with equal access for public and private institutions, companies and citizens, and we are aligning our regulation with the European Union's regulation. We already have a solid framework for open and secure digital space" - noted Minister Manchevski, whereby he stressed that alignment of the national legislation with the EU Acquis in this field is the first major step in the process that would ensure implementation of digital activities.
 
Manchevski also focused on the attained progress in digital identification in our country and in security od digital services of public institutions, as well as the implemented platform for secure exchange of data between public institutions, which is a basis for digitalization of processes in the country.
Representatives of fourteen states attended this year's Conference on Payments and Market Infrastructure. Today, representatives of several central banks across Europe will provide their expert opinions on changes in the payment environment.
A panel discussion was also organized as part of conference acitivities, whereby prominent experts of the banking and fintech sector discussed the world of open banking and fintech in payment innovations. The expressed views would be useful for further consideration of some of the challenges also posed before the central banking community.
The conference programme concludes tomorrow, when part of the experts from Europe will also discuss several key issues concerning latest trends in the payment sphere in separate working groups.

Ministry of Information Society and Administration