On the implementation of the Automated Electronic Clearing House

Publication date: 17.11.2004


Today in the afternoon, at the premises of Sheraton Hotel, the project on the implementation of the Automated Electronic Clearing House (AECH), a new initiative taken by the Bank of Albania towards modernizing the payment system, financially sponsored by the World Bank, was launched.

The complimentary speech was held by Mr. Ardian Fullani, the Governor of the Bank of Albania, and the meeting was attended by Mr. Biagio Bossone, Executive Director (in charge of Albania) at the World Bank, Washington, the resident representative of the World Bank in Tirana, senior representatives from the Albanian Parliament, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economy, commercial banks, American company "Montran", Albanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, etc.

Mr. Fullani expressed in this speech that "the project aims at reducing costs, increasing the speed and security in the banking payments. To this end, it is aimed that the banking payments be subject to a contemporary process of standardization and automatization, whose purpose will be focused on improving the relationships Bank-Client; Bank-Business and Business-Client on one hand, and the establishment of a basic infrastructure on which banks will rely to perform further automatization in their relationships with the public or businesses, on the other hand."

As stated by the Governor, "the Automated Electronic Clearing House is basically a system of banks, but its priorities and benefits pertain to the public and businesses in the country. Banks will be responsible to transmit the priorities of the system to the public. They will apply and accompany this enterprise with the further attraction of clients, the automatization of operations with businesses as well as the wider utilisation of modern technologies, such as Internet Banking. The implementation of the project is not an easy process and implies a dedicated commitment from all the banking system."

The Executive Director (in charge of Albania) at the World Bank, Mr. Bossone, expressed the constant support provided by the World Bank to the Bank of Albania in the process of developing a stable financial system. He emphasized that following the successful accomplishment of RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlements) project for the settlement of huge payments in real time, the World Bank is confident that AECH project will mark another positive development in the modernization of the Albanian banking system and its approximation with the international standards.

Mr. Dimitris Karavias, Vice President of the Albanian Association of Banks (AAB) expressed in his speech his thanks for the efforts initiated by the Bank of Albania to provide a modern system for the settlement of payments to commercial banks. As stated by Mr. Karavias, banks will go on increasing the range and quality of services offered for the customers as well as the best ways of withdrawing the money in the banking system, aiming at formalizing the Albanian economy.

Objectives of the project shall be: (1) further development and approximation of the Albanian payment system with the international standards, (2) enhancing the effectiveness and security in performing non-cash payments, (3) further reduction of cash use as a means of payment, (4) improving the invoicing and settlement system relative to "utilitarian " service companies (Albanian Telecommunication, Albanian Electric - Energy Corporation, Water Supply, Albanian Mobile Communication, Vodafone, etc) (5) improving the pension and social benefits allocation, especially in the rural areas and (6) ensuring a credible, safe and integrated payment system to supply the needs of a developed economy.

This system will be another entry in the reformation process of the payment system, which aims, inter alia, to improve the interbank payment operations for the public, the reduction of costs in the payment services, channelling of payments for utilitarian services, increasing the security of payment services and the further attraction of the public towards banks and the services they provide.

The system will be first established at the Bank of Albania and its members will be almost all the commercial banks. The project is expected to be accomplished on June, 2005, and its implementation comes after a successful achievement and complete operation of the AIPS (Albanian Interbank Payment System) project, which has been financed also by the World Bank.