The First Deputy Governor, Ms Luljeta Minxhozi, attends the High-Level Workshop organised by the European Central Bank on the payment systems developments of central banks

Publication date: 17.11.2023


On 16 November 2023, the First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Albania, Ms Luljeta Minxhozi, attended the High-Level Workshop on the payment systems developments, organized by the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Germany.


This workshop was organised in the framework of the “Programme[1] for Strengthening the Central Bank Capacities in the Western Balkans with a view to the integration to the ESCB” Phase II, which started in September 2022. In order to support the common objective of bringing payment system in the Western Balkans closer to the EU standards, the workshop focused on the payment and settlement systems developments, where the ECB presented how the Euro system adopts the mandate related to it.


Furthermore, the workshop served as a good platform to exchange views between the Euro-system representatives and the high-level decision-makers of the Western Balkans’ central banks and the two supervisory banking agencies of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In her speech, the First Deputy Governor, Ms Minxhozi, presented the latest developments in the payment systems adopted in Albania. She highlighted that payment systems and payment markets are related and interlinked closely with the economic transactions among the countries and their economic growth.


In this framework, the First Deputy Governor underlined the necessity and the immediate objective of central banks for the modernisation of payment systems, which also affects the further formalisation and development of the economy.

Ms Minxhozi stated that the “Modernisation of payment systems in the Western Balkans” consists of a series of supportive measures, which engender the development of the Common Regional Market and the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.


Currently, the economies of the Western Balkans are fully engaged to develop a common market following the rules and standards of the European Union, in order to heighten the attractiveness of this region and to enhance its competitiveness, bringing thus the EU markets even closer.

The improvement of cross-border payments with non-EU-member jurisdictions as well as the efficient and interoperable retail payments systems are also reflected in the Retail Payments Strategy for the EU, adopted recently.

These developments are focused on the reduction of costs on regional payments; the preparation of the region to join the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA); and seeking a solution for payments in real time domestically in countries that don’t have one currently.  The main purpose is also to prepare them to join TIPS, the real-time payments system SIP, which is operated by the ECB.

The focus of the Bank of Albania has been to further develop payment systems and improve the regulatory framework in order to reduce payment costs domestically, enhance efficiency, which will in turn reduce informality and strengthen financial inclusion.

A crucial step in this regard is the drafting of the Law “On payment accounts with basic features” as well as the Regulation “On comparing fees related to payment accounts and transfer service of payment accounts”, which aim to increase financial inclusion and re-dimension the current activity of financial institutions, with a view to boost market competition. The latter plays a key role in ensuring and enhancing consumer protection.

In its role as the supervisor of payment systems, the Bank of Albania pays great attention to the EU practices and its latest developments, in order to implement them as soon as possible. Ensuring payment safety and efficiency is among the Bank of Albania’s important objectives in order to maintain confidence in the domestic currency and promote an efficient economy.

Concluding her remarks, Ms Minxhozi added that Albania and all the countries of the region, in close cooperation with the World Bank, the EU and the Regional Cooperation Council have worked to fully implement the legal requirements and regulations of SEPA.

[1] This programme is managed by the Central Bank of Germany, together with 19 national central banks of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the European Central Banks (ECB). It is supported by the European Union through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA III). The Bank of Albania is among the institutions that benefit from this Programme.