Photo: Vecteezy.com

The long-announced Law on Payment Services and Payment Systems was finally adopted and published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of North Macedonia No. 90 on April 12, 2022. This law primarily harmonizes domestic legislation with the EU Payment Services Directive (2015/2366 / EC) known as the “PSD2” Directive, as well as other current EU directives on electronic money and payment operations.

This law liberalizes the market for payment services by enabling the entry of payment institutions, which are not banks, and which, like the banks, will perform certain services in the payment operations and issuance of electronic money. On the Macedonian market, made upon EU standards, will be able to enter foreign payment institutions that already operate on the European market, but this will also encourage the establishment of domestic payment institutions, which will strengthen market competition and increase the supply of various innovative electronic payment services.

In view of the intensification of the use of electronic payment, the law provides specific rules for enhanced consumer authentication in order to reduce the risk of abuse and fraud.

Among other novelties, the law provides for new payment services such as a service for initiating payments and a service for providing information on payment accounts. The rights of consumers to be informed about the conditions for using the services are strengthened. Card payment schemes are regulated, and interbank fees with payment cards are limited.

The law enters into force on 01.01.2023 after which the Macedonian market of payment services is expected to be driven by the presence of new players, and thus the positive effects to be felt in other business segments.