The banking community from Romania is au fait with the opportunities and benefits represented by adopting digital technologies for the Romanian economy and for the Romanians alike. Moreover, due to its crucial role in economic and financial circuits – in its relationship with investors and citizens – the banking sector intends to be in the frontline as regards the implementation of digital solutions and a wide scope promotion of their applicability.

Irrespective whether we have in mind applicability in precise domains or enhancing transparency, simplifying bureaucratic procedures and an administration closer to its citizens, under the specific e-governance concept, priorities of action and measures were contemplated both under the Digital Agenda for Europe 2020 and, locally, under the National Strategy regarding the Digital Agenda for Romania 2020. The objective pertains to accelerating the adopting of digital technologies (digitalization) in the European economy, respectively the Romanian one.

The adopting of digital technologies in financial and banking services addresses consumers’ expectations and requirements concerning simplifying access to banking operations via the new information and telecommunication technologies, while enhancing financial inclusion for the people living in less developed regions.

The general attractiveness of the Romanian economy for foreign investors, alongside competitiveness improving in any field by assuring access – via a level playing field – to applications and services related to payments, investments, loans and deposits are all the direct consequences of digitalization in the financial and banking sector.

For the banking sector, the wide scope implementation of digital solutions and the maximum turning to account of their applicability potential bring about more satisfied customers, a larger customer base and lower costs which, at the end of the day, will all mean benefits for consumers by cutting tariffs for the access to and the deployment of diverse financial and banking operations.

The Romanian Association of Banks has been promoting a dialogue with all interested parties – institutional factors, representatives of consumers’ associations, the business environment, the mass media – in order to improve and harmonize the legal framework in force, so as to allow the acceleration of the process of adopting digital technologies in the financial and banking sector.

The project targets a certain kind of issues that can be addressed, with a view to reach the mentioned objective:

  • Simplifying the procedures for customer identity authentication and verification, under the KYC procedures, as follows:
    • recognising the digital environment as a safe environment for the deployment of the KYC activities and similar procedures performed by banks;
    • clarifying and simplifying the legislation on outsourcing these procedures;
    • adapting the legislation on the information exchange between public and private institutions for identity verification, while observing the provisions regarding personal data protection;
  • Accepting digital documents and customers’ agreement in a digital format:
    • document transfer in a digital format;
    • drawing up an automated and real-time verification procedure with different institutional partners;
    • recognising the agreement sent electronically of the customers who connect via the Internet or via mobile banking applications;
  • Simplifying the procedures on proof of customer revenues:
    • accepting the scoring based on the information held by banks for the customers with a track record of their revenue accounts.

The Digital Agenda Platform has several projects under deployment across the banking community from Romania, projects pertaining to inter-bank relationships and payment infrastructures, as follows:

  • Adopting SEPA standards for lei payments – SEPA RON;
  • The management of the National Payment Schemes across the banking community;
  • An electronic platform for the publication and management of MyStandards standards;
  • Transposing and enforcing the provisions of the new European regulations: the Multiinterchange Fee Regulation (MIF), the revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2), the SEPA Regulation (260/2012), the Directive on payment accounts (92/2014), Directive NIS on security of network and information systems, the ECB recommendations/EBA requirements on the security of Internet payments etc.;
  • Cooperation across the banking sector in order to tighten cyber security rules;
  • Developing a system for garnishment electronic processing;
  • Adopting a new Instant Payment Scheme and developing an Instant lei payment Scheme.

  • At global level, the rate of the access to and usage of banking services reached 69% compared to 51% in 2011.
  • 94% cash transactions in Romania against 68% in Western Europe.
  • 7% – the rate of SMEs’ participation to online transactions in Romania against 17% in the EU; the lowest percentage of enterprises with high level digital intensity.
  • -5% drop in the “grey” market via the increase of electronic payments by at least 10% per annum, for 4 years in a row.
  • at global level, 52% of adults made electronic payments in 2017 compared to 42% in 2014
  • 23% of internet users in Romania shopped online in 2017 compared to 68% the EU average
  • 11% of internet users used internet banking in Romania compared to 61% the EU average.

Digitalization in the relationship with banks > productivity for companies > momentum of lending and investments > growth and new jobs > welfare

    • Setting up an inter-ministry working group including RAB for the identification and assessment of the best solutions to give impetus to banking digitalization.
    • Collaboration and cooperation with a view to harmonize the legislation, in parallel with the participation in the process of transposing the new European regulations at national level.
    • Prioritizing banking digitalization in the projects for Romania’s digitalization.
    • Banks’ know-how for implementing digital services and for cyber security – Transposition and enforcement of the provisions of the new European regulations: MIF, SEPA Reg., PSD2, Dir. 92, Dir. NIS etc.

Cooperation to provide for cyber security