Skopje, 29th May 2013 (MIA) – 2013-2017 Strategy for Development of Payment System of the Republic of Macedonia, which was presented today, envisages safe and efficient national payment system harmonized with the international and European standards and broad acceptance of non-cash payment instruments. Joint statement was signed by Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia Dimitar Bogov and Chairman of Banking Association Gorgi Jancevski as a token of accepting the strategy framework.

– The Strategy contains guidelines which are to be followed to the end of improving the payment infrastructure in the Republic of Macedonia. During this period, we should achieve a significant progress towards the payment infrastructure and the manner of functioning of the payment systems in the EU. This is also an evidence of good inter-institutional cooperation involving many institutions from the financial area and is an example of how we should continue operating, Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia said.

He went on that this Strategy was a joint vision of all relevant stakeholders in the national payment system as for how it should develop. The Strategy, as he said, is based on the mutual observations of current developments as regards of execution of domestic and external payments, as well as on the needs to enhance safety and efficiency by applying latest technological achievements and international standards.

Strategic guidelines, according to Bogov, also stem from the clear position of the Republic of Macedonia to become an EU member, and subsequently NBRM to become part of the European System of Central Banks.

According to Vice Prime Minister Stavreski, the Strategy is one more evidence of the contribution and the efficiency of the already established cooperation, at the same time, also proving the serious intention for joint and continuous monitoring and managing the payment systems in the country, by implementing the strategic guidelines on development.

Strategic guidelines for the coming five-year period, as Minsiter Stavreski are a logical follow-up of and are based on the results achieved with the first national strategic document on development of payment systems, adopted in 2007.

– Payment system reform was one of the most successful reforms in the Republic of Macedonia implemented in the past ten and so years. The new 2013-2017 National Strategy on Development of Payment Systems, which we signed today, provides for modernization of the payment systems in Macedonia, their harmonization with the European standards, and encouragement of non- cash payments. We are striving for reduction of prices of payment services and the very fact that the three main actors signed the joint statement today, speaks in favour of high level of coordination as regards both defining the strategic goals and the operational instruments for their realization, Stavreski underlined.

He pointed out that defining the activities and the policies to stimulate non-cash payments and discourage use of cash in payment transactions, as one of the conditions to reduce grey economy, remains to be a joint strategic commitment. – This, he said, will be achieved through coordinated activities of government institutions and banks, by expanding and modernizing the network of POS terminals and ATMs and stimulating e-banking.

According to the Chairman of the Banking Association, the Strategy is a logical pathway to follow the distant 2000, when the reform Law on Payment Operations started to be implemented in Macedonia. – As Macedonia developed, we have improved this Law. Council of National Strategy for Payment Systems was established in 2007, which deals with constant upgrading and improvement of the systems. Subsequently, now we have reached the level of a secure and stable payment system, with the banks as holders of the payment system, Jancevski said.

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