Speech of the Bank of Albania Governor, Mr. Ardian Fullani, at the meeting on inaugurating the implementation of the Automated Electronic Clearing House System

Publication date: 18.11.2004


Implementation of Clearing System at the Bank of Albania

Good evening to everybody,

I thank you for your presence at this important event of the Bank of Albania and of the Albanian banking system.

I feel highly honored that I have the privilege to introduce this project. Considering the project for the implementation of automated electronic clearing house as one of the challenges in which the Bank of Albania and the banking system are involved recently, I have the right to believe that we will once more be successful.

The implementation of this system is part of a deep reformation taking place to the payment system in the country, which will qualitatively improve the types and security of banking services related to payments.

As we already know, the payment service is still far from international accepted standards and cash is the most useful means of payment. The reason is simple - the lack of a free, faster and safer alternative.

We are all aware of the geographic extension, increased number and quality of banking services. Here is highlighted, particularly the increased number of banking cards, number of ATMs and operations effected through them.

This extension is just the beginning of using new payment instruments with banking cards. Though the so-far process seems to be a fast one, it should be followed by an increased number of terminals accepting cards in the Points of Sales, as well as by the use of cards as reliable payment instruments, by not limiting their users only in cash withdrawal. Further operations should be undertaken for the standardization or unification of technology used, aiming at creation of a unique card.

Notwithstanding the accomplishments reached, the payment cost is still high while the time of performing it is long.

The project initiated today aims precisely 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 automation, whose purpose will be focused on improving the Bank-Client, Bank-Business and Business-Client relationships on one hand, and the establishment of a basic infrastructure on which banks will rely to perform further automation in their relationships with the public or businesses, on the other hand.

More concretely, this system, which is projected to be completed at end of the coming June, is estimated to:

  • Accelerate the payment operations until effecting small interbank payments, in not more than 2 days;
  • Reduce significantly the banking system operation costs and payment service fees;
  • Establish and use direct debiting, which is a new form of payment. This means of payment, which is currently in first steps of its use in a number of banks, upon completion of the project, will have a completely new use and format. It will be largely used in effecting payments of "utilitarian" services and will bring about fundamental changes in compliance with world tendencies of Bank-Business, Bank-Client, and Business-Client relationships.

Honored participants, friends and collaborators!

The Automated Electronic Clearing House system 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 undertaking with further attraction of clients, automation of operations with businesses as well as with a larger utilization of modern technologies, such as Internet Banking.

The implementation of this project is not an easy process and implies a dedicated commitment from the whole banking system. Upon the implementation of AIPS (Albanian Interbank Payment System) project in January of the current year, banks and the Bank of Albania established a good cooperation experience and demonstrated that they can accomplish ambitious and difficult projects together. In implementing the new project, the Bank of Albania is determined to use this positive experience for improvements in terms of enhancing transparency and involving all banks in decision-making.

Finally, I would like to address special thanks to the World Bank, our co-financer in such an important project. The commitment of expertise and its degree of knowledge are one of our guarantees for success of this project. The Bank of Albania has already a long and a very positive experience of cooperation with the World Bank in realizing joint projects. Taking advantage of the presence of Mr. Bossone in this inauguration ceremony, I wish, on my behalf and on behalf of the institution I govern, to express my highest esteems and deepest respect for him, his institution and collaborators.