History of payment systems in the Republic of MacedoniaThe development of the payment system of the Republic of Macedonia since its independence can be divided into two stages and one transitional period, which can be placed in three periods in the following order:
In the first stage, the national payment system was introduced by the functioning of a public institution inherited from the former system before the independence of the Republic of Macedonia, known as Payment Operations Bureau (POB). This institution performed the role of interbank and intrabank payment system for domestic payments for needs of the companies and the government. However, the functioning of market economy was necessary to reform the national payment system and to introduce a new payment system that will be able to evolve in line with the strategic goals of the Republic of Macedonia for its integration into the European Union. In this regard, the reform took place in accordance with the study for the implementation of the reform of the payment system in the Republic of Macedonia, produced with support from the European Union. The reform was governed by a steering committee headed by the Minister of Finance. This Committee and its working groups gathered experts from the NBRM, the Ministry of Finance, banks, POB and eminent university professors.
In the implementation of the new payment system in the transition period from 30 July 2001 to 31 December 2001, despite the introduction of new payment systems (MIPS and KIBS), the BOP continued operating as a specific payment system. Namely, the process of migration of the accounts from the BOP to the banks, the BOP workload decreased, while the workload of the MIPS, KIBS and the internal systems of banks increased. At the end of the transition period, with the overall migration of accounts, the BOP ceased operating and the new payment systems in the Republic of Macedonia started to operate at full capacity.
In the second phase, which is underway since 1 January 2002, the new payment system of the Republic of Macedonia has been successfully operating. The NBRM plays important roles in the new payment system as regulated by the Law on the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia and the Law on Payment Operations. These legal mandates empowered the NBRM, as a modern central bank, to begin actively carrying out its roles in the payment system of the Republic of Macedonia, while achieving active cooperation with all stakeholders in the new payment system: Ministry of Finance, Banking Association, clearing institutions and Securities and Exchange Commission of the Republic of Macedonia. The new payment system encouraged competition for banks and was a prerequisite for the application of new payment and innovative products in the area of payments that came forward during this period. The content on the NBRM website concerning payment systems gives a broader picture of the new payment infrastructure of the Republic of Macedonia, the institutional infrastructure to support its development through the establishment and functioning of the National Payment Systems Council of the Republic of Macedonia, the various roles of the NBRM, as well as future plans for further development of the national payment system of the Republic of Macedonia.
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