Domestic Payment Systems Modernisation is a Prerequisite for Wider Economic Integration


On the first day of her visit to the United States, the CBCG Governor, Ms Irena Radović, met with Mr Piero Cipollone, a European Central Bank (ECB) Executive Board member.

At the meeting, they discussed the modernisation of Western Balkan payment systems, a precondition for their integration into the EU. Mr Cipollone noted that the ECB supports Montenegro and other countries in the region in their alignment with EU standards. They highlighted the importance of establishing a national instant payment system in creating conditions for Montenegro’s accession to TIPS (Target Instant Payment Settlement) and, subsequently, the integration and accessing of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

The Governor thanked Mr Cipollone for the ECB supporting the CBCG on its path to ESCB membership, reflected through regular high-level dialogues and numerous technical cooperation programmes that helped the CBCG build and strengthen its institutional, regulatory and administrative capacities.

On the first day of her stay in Washington, Governor Radović also participated in the panel of governors the World Bank organised on cross-border payments efficiency.

The panel conveyed that efficient cross-border payments are essential for foreign trade, FDIs , and the smooth transfer of remittances and are crucial in fostering economic growth. However, panellists assessed that cross-border payments are still “expensive, slow, and with limited range.”

Governor Radović emphasised that improvements in domestic and cross-border payments could have significant positive implications for a country’s economy, especially for small and open countries like Montenegro, which strongly focuses on foreign trade.

“Considering the aforesaid, and our strategic goal - joining the EU as soon as possible, the CBCG has initiated numerous activities on improving the regulatory framework and modernising payment systems,” said Governor Radović. She mentioned Montenegro as the first EU candidate country to harmonise its regulation governing payment operations with the EU acquis fully. “We have intensive cooperation with the Government of Montenegro to fulfil the other conditions for joining SEPA, aiming to ensure to our citizens and the economy the quick and efficient execution of euro transactions anywhere in the EU in just a few seconds and at a meagre price,” said Governor Radović.

The panellists shared experiences on national strategies and discussed the future agenda for improving cross-border payments that will ensure a more efficient and resilient financial ecosystem benefiting citizens, the corporate sector, and the entire economy.