Skopje, 10 February 2023
If someone loses or has his payment card stolen, and then being used for transactions that he did not authorize, that person can have this loss covered to maximum Denar 1,200, an amount limited by the law. This is envisaged in the new Law on Payment Services and Payment Systems, where the consumer protection is a very important issue, the manager of the Payment Systems Department at the National Bank, Igor Velichkovski, said for "Bloomberg Adria".
"The citizen should take all reasonable measures to protect the card’s PIN.
For example, if you keep your PIN and payment card in the same place in your wallet and it is stolen, then the damage or loss caused by all these unauthorized transactions will be fully covered by the citizen. The card holder should also notify the provider as soon as he becomes aware that his payment card has been lost or stolen," Velichkovski said, emphasizing the need for responsible behavior of citizens when handling payment instruments.
With the new legal framework in the payment area, for consumer protection purposes, the obligations of the payment service providers are regulated in detail, to be more precise, what information they should provide to citizens before concluding a framework agreement for the use of payment services, and in that context, the framework agreement also include the relevant information and conditions for issuing and using payment cards.
"Until the end of September this year, the National Bank on its website will enable comparison of the charges of the most representative services, i.e. for the services that citizens most often use through payment accounts, so they will be able to compare the fees they pay and are being charged by each provider in one place, and to decide which of them offers the most favorable conditions for making payments", says Velichkovski.
Also, the interests of consumers are protected by opening the market and increasing competition. Namely, currently citizens and companies use payment services only from banks, and in the future they can make payments through the current savings houses, as well as through new legal entities that will offer payment services, which would emerge on the market in the coming period.
"The new payment service providers will work as payment institutions or as electronic money institutions, for which they will need to obtain permission from the National Bank. The conditions that they need to fulfill in order to receive a permit are already regulated by the new law, and are described in more detail by the by-laws that the National Bank adopted during 2022, and that new framework has been in effect since the beginning of this year. The new providers would offer citizens and companies the opportunity to open payment accounts through which they will make payments for various needs, but relying primarily on digital channels for easier initiation of payments, such as mobile payment solutions, and their faster execution. It would strengthen the competition in the payment services market and contribute to the increase of innovations and solutions for payments execution by current players, such as banks and savings houses, as well as a possibility for reducing charges, i.e. for cheaper execution of payments", the director of the Payment Systems Department said.