The financial and banking services industry has been undergoing major structural transformations, being significantly influenced by a number of factors, such as changes in customers’ behaviour generated by technological development, the expansion of non-traditional players centred on customers’ needs and on innovation, or the new regulations with impact upon economic and business models.
The European Banking Federation, an organization in which the Romanian Association of Banks is a member, supports the European Commission’s plans regarding the establishing of a single digital market, an objective which can be reached by developing in the financial and banking industry some innovative and competitive services which would fully meet the requirements of the consumers of financial and banking services.
Credit institutions in Romania actively contribute to accelerating the introduction of digital solutions in financial and banking services and have been concerned to redefine their business models via new innovative services, such as Instant Payments and the implementing of Open Banking – with the challenges and opportunities these projects generate.
The Platform for the Digital Agenda, initiated by the Romanian Association of Banks in 2016, can be considered the main accelerator in the Romanian economy, targeting to improve the offer of banking and financial services & products while meeting the customers’ requirements for fast, convenient, efficient, safe and transparent services, providing, at the same time, the enhancement of financial inclusion in Romania. The Romanian Association of Banks has been promoting the dialogue with all the stakeholders – institutions, representatives of consumer associations, the business environment, the mass media – in order to improve and harmonize the national regulatory framework with the European one, especially with the provisions of the Regulation UE no. 910/2014 (eIDAS Regulation) on the creation of a single European market (including the digital one), so as to allow for the acceleration of the process of adopting digital technologies in the financial and banking sector. The proposals of the banking community target mainly:
- Recognition of the legal effect of all signature types – the electronic signature, the advanced electronic signature and the qualified electronic signature – with a view to facilitate the exchange of information and documents in the electronic environment among citizens, the business environment and government institutions;
- Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures via video interviews, as an alternative means for the situations when a person is in a remote location;
- Obtaining customers’ consent to access information in several data bases via alternative means, by giving up the exclusive requirement of consent in written format.
The Platform for the Digital Agenda relies on the following projects deployed across the banking community, pertaining to the level of inter-bank relations and the level of payment infrastructures, as follows:
- Adopting the SEPA standards for lei payments – SEPA RON project;
- The electronic platform for publishing and managing the standards used across the National community – MyStandards;
- Managing national Payment Schemes across the banking community; Modernization of the national legal framework, transposition and implementation of the provisions of the new European regulations: the Interchange Fee regulation (MIF), the revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2), the SEPA Regulation (260/2012), the Directive on bank accounts (92/2014), the Directive NIS on security of network and information systems;
- Developing a system for the electronic processing of garnishments – the e-Popriri project;
- Adopting the Instant Payments Scheme and developing the lei Instant Payments system;
- Cooperation across the banking sector in order to strengthen the measures related to cyber security.
- The usage rate of bank products and services at global level reached 69% in 2017, compared to 51% in 2011;
- 94% cash transactions in Romania compared to 68% in Western EU;
- 8% the rate of the SMEs which sell online in Romania compared to 17% in the EU;
- the ”grey” market 5% down via the increasing of electronic payments by at least 10% per annum, for 4 years in a row;
- 52% of adults made electronic payments at global level in 2017 compared to 42% in 2014;
- 26% of internet users in Romania shopped online in 2018 compared to 69% the EU average;
- 10% of internet users used internet banking in Romania in 2018 compared to 64% the EU average.
Digitalization in the relationship with banks > increased productivity for companies > momentum of lending and investments > growth and new jobs > welfare
- 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