On April 12, 2022, the new Law on Payment Services and Payment Systems was adopted, and it entered into force on January 1, 2023. With the adoption of this Law, domestic legislation is harmonized with the directives of the European Union in relation to payment services (“PSD2” directive), which enables natural and legal persons a reliable and efficient payment system compatible with the payment systems of the member states of the European Union.
With the new Law, in addition to the banks that have so far appeared as basic payment institutions for the performance of services in payment transactions and the issuance of electronic money, it is possible for new domestic and foreign payment institutions to appear on the market based on the Decision of the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia.
A significant innovation covered by the new Law is the introduction of a payment account with basic functions through which payment transactions can be performed to settle the usual obligations (bills for water, electricity, heating, etc.) and the transfer of funds to another person, without using allowed overdraft.
For users from vulnerable categories, the payment account with basic functions will be free of charge, while for other citizens the charge will not be higher than 0.1% of the average net salary paid in the last twelve months.
With the Law, special attention is paid to giving discounts due to the use of a certain payment instrument. Namely, the provider of payment services has no right to offer a discount to the user of the payment services if the payment transactions are performed in cash. In the event that for the use of a certain payment instrument, the recipient charges a fee or offers a discount, the recipient should notify the payer before initiating the payment transaction.
With the new legal solutions will encourage the entry of new providers of payment services, thereby strengthening competition in the market and increasing the offer of more accessible payment services for citizens and companies.
In addition, with the establishment of the new obligation of payment service providers to continuously submit data on the amount of fees to the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia, transparency will increase, whereby consumers will have access to information on the amount of fees from different providers at any time payment services.