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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Enhancing Montenegro’s payment infrastructure: A gateway to EU integration

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During a meeting between Central Bank Governor Irena Radović and European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board member Pierre Cipollone, it was underscored that the modernization of domestic payment systems is imperative for broader economic integration.

According to the CBCG, the discussions, which took place during the first day of a visit to the United States, centered on the need to modernize payment systems in Western Balkan countries as a prerequisite for their integration into the EU.

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Cipollone expressed ECB’s support for Montenegro and its regional counterparts in aligning with EU standards.

“The establishment of a national instant payment system was highlighted as crucial for Montenegro’s accession to the Target Instant Payment Settlement (TIPS) and subsequent integration into SEPA, enabling access to the Single Euro Payments Area,” the statement explained.

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Radović expressed gratitude for ECB’s support to the CBCG in its journey toward membership in the European System of Central Banks, evident through high-level dialogues and various technical cooperation programs aimed at strengthening institutional, regulatory, and administrative capacities.

Radović also participated in a governors’ panel on cross-border payment efficiency organized by the World Bank (WB). The panel emphasized the importance of efficient cross-border payments for foreign trade, foreign direct investment, and smooth remittance transfers, all essential for driving economic growth.

Panel participants noted the existing challenges with cross-border payments, such as high costs, slow processing times, and limited accessibility.

Radović highlighted the potential positive impact of improving both domestic and cross-border payment systems on Montenegro’s economy, particularly given its heavy reliance on foreign trade.

“In light of this, and with our strategic goal of EU accession in mind, the CBCG has initiated numerous efforts to enhance the regulatory framework and modernize payment systems,” Radović explained.

She further noted Montenegro’s achievement as the first EU candidate country to fully harmonize payment system regulations with EU law.

“We are working closely with the government to fulfill the remaining conditions for joining SEPA, aiming to provide citizens and businesses with fast, efficient euro transactions across the EU at minimal cost,” Radović emphasized.

Panel participants exchanged insights on national strategies and discussed future agendas for improving cross-border payments, aiming to create a more efficient and resilient financial ecosystem that will benefit citizens, businesses, and the overall economy.

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