Central Bank ENgagement
Fintech led transformation of the financial services sector
Picture: Governor of National Bank for the Republic of North Macedonia, opening the workshop. Image courtesy of the National Bank for the Republic of North Macedonia
Vedanvi is in a long term engagement with the National Bank for the Republic of North Macedonia to eventually develop a national Fintech Strategy and to provide implementation support.
Vedanvi has once again partnered with Finance in Motion, an impact asset manager based in Germany, and the European Fund for South East Europe, an impact investor supporting economic development in the region.
Financial Sector Reform
North Macedonia has a high level of financial inclusion, however there is still a challenge of financial accessibility by households and small businesses.
The country also has ambitions of integrating within the European Union and this requires (among other things), a well managed financial system.
Inspired by the success of neighhbouring countries, entrepreneurs, and traditional firms alike, have awoken to the possibilities that Fintech can bring. There are green shoots of initiatives emerging in transforming the financial sector, and the regulators across this entire sector realise that they need to find ways to open the doors to innovation.
The forward thinking Governor of the National Bank for the Republic of North Macedonia, came to the realisation that the regulators need to take proactive steps to facilitate Fintech led transformation of the financial system.
Vedanvi was chosen to initially lead a planning workshop involving the senior leadership team of the central bank, including the Governor. The workshop created awareness of the possibilities of Fintech, and highlighted the role of the regulators. We concluded with a prioritised 10 point action plan.
A subsequent workshop was held with all financial services regulators, and we are now progressing to the next phase of landscaping Fintech in North Macedonina, in order to inform the development of a national strategy.
Directly as a result of the initial workshop, the National Bank created an internal team to explore and drive Fintech led change. The group met regularly and their first task they accomplished was to launch an Innovation Hub to engage with Fintech innovators.
The Innovation Hub was well received in North Macedonia, signalling the willingness of the regulators to encourage innovation and modernisation of the financial system. The hub has already seen many enquiries and the National Bank is now exploring the launch on a regulatory sandbox.
An action item from workshop was to engage with all other regulators to ensure coordination and allowing innovation to arranhge from any sub sector of the financial system. Vedanvi was once again selected to lead a multi regulatory workshop to plan the next phase towards the development of the Fintech Strategy.