Jasmina Vignjević, President Of The FIC Digital And E-Commerce Committee(Telenor d.o.o.):

New Technologies Will Create New Business Models In Serbia

The extent to which Serbia will be a place where innovations and innovative business models develop depends greatly on an adequate legal framework

The Digital and E-commerce Committee was founded with the idea of responding to some of the challenges brought by digitisation, or the so-called fourth industrial revolution. Topping the list of the world’s most valuable companies are ever more of those who operate exclusively in the digital environment and don’t possess physical products. On the other hand, it is enough for one site or application, such as Booking or Uber, to change some industry at a global level. All this indicates that this process is well underway, and the extent to which Serbia will be a place where innovations and innovative business models develop depends greatly on an adequate legal framework.

The committee, whose members come from various sectors – banking, telecommunications, insurance, law and other areas – has identified several key areas that need to be improved. The simplifying and wider application of electronic signatures by citizens is the main prerequisite for the development of e-business. The current concept is adapted to businesspeople who possess technical knowledge and conclude important transactions. Thus we suggested the introduction of multi-step authentication, where the identification mechanism would be adapted to the importance of the transaction, with the use of devices we already possess (e.g., a mobile phone or bank card). With this we would enable everyone to conclude contracts electronically simply and without high costs. We also advocate for improving and developing new electronic administration services. Considering the high penetration of mobile phones, of 129%, and the trend of dominant use of the internet on mobile devices, we have recommended that public administration approach citizens in the form of m-administration, a platform that would be tailored to the needs of users and integrated with m-banking and other payment methods, which would enable services to be fully realised with one device.

Our key recommendation is for public institutions to enable the payment of all taxes electronically, so that an individual is not required to provide paper proof of payment

On the regulatory front, the last year has seen the publishing of the Draft Law regulating electronic operations and the draft Action Plan for the development of eGovernment. The new law will regulate the area of electronic signatures, documents and services of trust in a unique way, and the expectation is that its adoption will result in advancements in the domain of archiving and maintaining business records. However, the focus of the draft is still on the qualified electronic signature, while defining the electronic identification scheme as a more flexible mechanism is left to the bylaws. At the moment of writing this article, the Government has adopted this law and its adoption in the National Assembly is expected. It is extremely important for bylaws to regulate electronic identification schemes in a more flexible and simplified way that will enable the wider use of electronic signatures.

The second document comprehensively envisages concrete measures for the establishment of electronic administration. We see the networking of state authorities, the establishment of basic registries, the improvement of payments and the adjustment of electronic services to all devices as the most important factors. Our proposal to include m-administration in the Draft Action Plan has been accepted and we expect its adoption and implementation.

Members of the Committee will also be dedicated to improving legislation in this field in the period ahead.