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Danilo Mrvaljević, Co-president Of The FIC Financial Services Committee (Banca Intesa a.d. Beograd)

Continuing Digitalisation

In the continuation of the process of digitalising financial services, it is necessary to further expand the possibility of making the traditional range of support services for the operations of companies and private individuals even simpler and more intuitive

The FIC recently held the first financial conference bringing together representatives of the National Bank of Serbia, the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia, the Administration for the Prevention of Money Laundering, the Office for IT and eGovernment of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Republic Geodetic Authority, as well as other associations from the financial sector and the economy.

Attracting the greatest attention of participants were the topics of protecting users of financial services, finalising the project of introducing electronic bills of exchange, procedures based on AML protocol (e.g., PEP documentation, KYC processes etc.), the possibilities provided by the Republic Geodetic Authority with its new online services, as well as amendments to regulations in the fields of insurance and leasing etc.

When it comes to digitalisation in the banking sector, the visible efforts of all banks to render their products and services as available as possible “at a click”, as well as to optimise their business processes and reduce the level of manual activities and the consuming of resources. In this sense, very productive collaboration with the National Bank of Serbia was established on several fronts in the field of digitalisation. Significant advances have been achieved over the previous year within the scope of the project of electronic bills of exchange (e-bills) for registered companies and entrepreneurs, while there have been additional improvements to the system of electronic authentication through a qualified signature supported by cloud technology, as well as to the process of electronically recording turnovers of goods and services in real time (online fiscalisation and e-invoicing).

The further affirming of repo transactions in dinars would open the door to more advanced financial market instruments in the domestic currency

Moreover, the national system for making payments in real-time, IPS (Instant Payment System), has encompassed and eased the payment of an even greater number of transactions for participants in the economy and citizens on the basis of improvements that were already presented during the period of the Covid pandemic (reading QR codes when making purchases at shops and on monthly payment slips ).

The National Bank of Serbia highlights the dinarisation process as being among the key factors in leveraging the implementation of monetary policy. Commercial banks have also recognised this process as being strategically important for ensuring a greater level of autonomy for the Serbian financial system in relation to external shocks and other influences emanating from the Eurozone. The NBS has achieved very significant results in this regard, when it comes affirming the dinar as a currency that it pays to save in, while it is evident that savings in dinars are again on the rise among citizens following the period of the pandemic. The further development of dinarisation is largely dependent on the possibility of making borrowing in dinars more affordable compared to borrowing in euros, which of course cannot be influenced by administrative measures alone, but rather also requires a greater resolve among all participants in the financial market for transactions in the local currency. In this sense, we consider that the further affirming of so-called repo transactions in dinars, i.e., transactions of mutual lending in dinars among banks on the basis of collateral in the form of securities, would represent a significant advance. This would also open the door to more advanced financial market instruments in the domestic currency (interest rate swaps, currency swaps etc.).

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