According to The Global Findex database, 72% of Albanians had access to the internet.
No Open Banking
PSD2 is a European Directive that regulates electronic payment services and was implemented in all EEA countries in 2016 and went live in September 2019. While Albania is not a member state of EU yet, it is willing to join and has harmonised with the EU’s PSD2 since April 2020. The Albanian law “On payment services” (Për shërbimet e pagesave) provides an opportunity for creative Fintech solutions in the country.
Albania’s economy is heavily cash-reliant. According to The Global Findex Database, 44% of Albanians have bank accounts, which means that 56% of the citizens are unbanked. The Bank of Albania (BoA) has been actively focusing on the financial inclusion of the unbanked.
Electronic payments in Albania have been growing steadily over recent years, but still lack large volumes of usage. Even though their usage is not yet being fully embraced, there has been a gradual transition to trust in electronic payments over the last five years. There has been a swift change in attitude that has contributed to a sharp increase in usage of such instruments during the pandemic.
Albania is harmonising with the EU’s PSD2. The legislation is set to attract Fintechs. The approval of the Law “On payment services” is also one of the main achievements related to the implementation of the National Retail Payments Strategy (2018-2023).
In 2019, 11 Fintechs operated in Albania compared to 2022, when Tirana alone has 21 Fintechs. Bank of Albania is actively supporting innovation in the Fintech sector and, in the mean time, is also working on a strategy for Financial Education as a long-term process that will involve different partners jointly working toward responsible financial behaviour.
Electronic payments in Albania have been growing steadily over recent years, but still lack large volumes of usage. Even though their usage is not yet being fully embraced, there has been a gradual transition to trust in electronic payments over the last five years.