Joining of Single Euro Payments Area will bring faster and cheaper payments, vice governor

Together with Moldova’s entry into the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA), the citizens will be able to easier transfer money from one account to another. For companies, as for the citizens, the cost will be much lower and the speed will be higher. The payments will be swifter and cheaper for ordinary citizens both through banks and through payment service providers. Representatives of the National Bank said the financial system is the third interested party. However, to connect to the SEPA, the system needs to make effort to improve the quality of internal systems and norms, to invest and modernize itself, IPN reports.

“There are a number of benefits that need to be divided into several groups of interested parties. The first group consists of ordinary people who make and receive payments from the SEPA, which covers 36 countries. The difference is the following: it takes longer now to make a payment (it is impossible to determine the exact time until the transfer and the cost itself as it depends on the payment method), but when we become a SEPA member, we will know for sure that the payment will not last for more than a day and will see that the cost will be comparable with the local prices. At the moment, a payment in euros is more expensive than a payment in lei,” vice governor Arcadie Albul stated in an interview published by the National Bank of Moldova.

According to him, a financial investment is needed. It does not go only to banks, but also to nonbank payment service providers. “In Moldova, there were issued a number of licenses for payment service providers that compete with the banking system and this is very good. Now both the banks and nonbank commercial organizations will have to invest, but this will depend on the sophistication level of their internal system and the location. That’s why it is hard to give figure. We are working together with the banking sector to provide the technical characteristics that need to be met, but the sector plays its part then. Everything is individual,” stated Arcadie Albul.

To join the SEPA, the National Bank and other institutions need to take particular actions and to do internal reforms concerning the payment system. The implementation of the PSD2 European Directive is the most important step taken by the central bank. Parliament adopted it in summer and the secondary legislation is to take effect in two years. This includes a strict authentication requirement as a subcomponent. Moldova will submit an application to joint the SEPA and this is to be approved by the European Payments Council and the European Commission. Besides, the physical interconnection and bank reforms need to start, stated the vice governor.

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