On January 31, 2024, the National Payment Council held its annual re-initiating meeting with expanded membership


On January 31, 2024, the annual meeting of the National Payments Council (NPC) was held with expanded membership. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Dardan Fusha, Deputy Governor for Banking Operations at the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo / Chairman of the Council. Apart from expanded membership, Governor of the Central Bank of Kosova, Mr. Ahmet Ismaili and the Minister of Finance, Labor and Transfers Mr. Hekuran Murati, as well as representatives from Government Institutions, US Embassy (USAID), World Bank, International Monetary Fund, EU Office in Kosovo, SECO, International Card Schemes Visa and Master Cards, as well as other participants and development partners.

The meeting was opened with welcoming remarks by the Governor Mr. Ismaili and the Minister Mr. Murati, where the strategic orientations and viewpoints of the respective institutions were presented, underlining the positive effects on the economy of such initiatives with a comprehensive national character. The meeting continued with the presentation by the Chairman Mr. Fusha, who emphasized the initiatives of the Central Bank of Kosovo, which aim to increase the financial inclusion of citizens and reducing the use of cash payments. Moreover, invited speakers such as the Director of TAK, Mr. Ilir Murtezaj and the representative of the World Bank Mr. Holti Banka, presented their positions in line with the CBK Strategic Plan and the current initiatives within the NPC.

In this context, focus was given to the draft of the new Law on Payment Services, the necessary preparations for meeting the criteria for membership in the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) and the integration into the fast payment system of European Union known as TIPS. These developments are expected to increase the security and efficiency of payment systems and instruments, including reducing the costs and time of transfers and remittances. In this meeting, it was discussed on the fulfillment of the objectives of the Action Plan of the National Strategy of Small Value Payments and the commitments of the CBK within the project for Modernization of Payment Systems of the Western Balkan Countries sponsored by the European Commission, under the administration of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) which is being implemented by the World Bank Group.

Those present at this meeting were also informed about the practices of other countries of inter-institutional cooperation, as well as VISA and MasterCard experiences from other countries, regarding comprehensive initiatives to reduce cash. Moreover, developments related to the advancement of payment services by banks and NFBIs were presented, including their readiness to adapt to new legal and infrastructure developments.

At the end, some of the recommendations derived from this meeting were discussed, related to the activities necessary to reduce the use of cash, as well as the mechanisms for monitoring these projects through the establishment of working groups under the leadership of the CBK and with the involvement of members of the Council and other relevant institutions. Concrete initiatives with deadlines and actors will be arranged in line with these initiatives.

Materials from the annual meeting of the National Payments Council:

Meeting Agenda – 31.01.2024

Summary of discussions-Meeting minutes and Recommendations/Conclusions

Presentations of this meeting:

1. Mr. Dardan Fusha, Central Bank of Kosovo: Functionalization of the NPC and developments in the legal and technical infrastructure in the field of payments;

2. Mr. Holti Banka, World Bank: Criteria and Kosovo's path towards SEPA integration;

3. Mr. Lumni Rrustolli, Central Bank of Kosovo: Financial Inclusion - data on the development of infrastructure and statistics of payment services;

4. Ms. Oya Pinar, World Bank: Electronic Payment Acceptance Package;

5. Mrs. Eda Shaqiri and Mr. Gazmend Selmani, NFBIs: Advancement of services in function of the increase in the use of electronic money payments. The role and contribution of this sector;

6. Mrs. Snezana Sofijanic, Visa: Promoting Financial Inclusion and Minimizing the Use of Cash, Insights from Other Countries and Advanced Solutions;

7. Mrs. Silvia Hadzhiyaneva, Mastercard: Digitization of payments in Kosovo;