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Open Banking

Open Finance

At the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, Croatia has been slow at adopting digital public services.

According to the DataReportal, 80 % of Croatians had access to the internet in 2021. Of all Croatians using the internet, 59% used the internet for online banking in 2019, which was 7% below the EU average. Croatia ranks 14th in the integration of digital technologies and 23rd for digital public services among EU countries.  

Croatia falls under the PSD2 legislation and has adopted Berlin Group’s NextGenPSD2 standard. 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. 

The EU Commission has announced its intention to adopt an Open Finance regulatory framework.

According to The Global Findex Database, 92% of Croatians had bank accounts in 2021, leaving 8% unbanked. Still in 2017, 42% of Croatians paid cash on delivery for online purchases. In 2019, 67% of Croatians shopped online, and this is predicted to increase to 71% in 2023.

The Croatian government issued the new Payments Act to adopt the changes brought forward by PSD2.

14% of Croatian adults are unbanked. However, the adoption of digital public services has been slow. 50% of Croatians interact with public authorities online and obtained information from government website in 2019.

The Croatian startup ecosystem is a regional leader in innovation, ranking number 45 globally, and number nine for startups in Eastern Europe. Most of the startups, including 31 Fintech startups operate in Zagreb.

Croatia ranks 9th in human capital among EU countries in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2022. The human capital measures digital skills, the proportion of employed people working as ICT specialists, female ICT specialists, and enterprises offering ICT training.

The Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (HANFA / Hrvatska agencija za nadzor financijskih usluga) has established a regulatory Innovation Hub consisting of a specialised team dedicated to the issue of financial innovation regulation. The Innovation Hub play a role in HANFA’s active collaboration with the existing entities, technological services providers, start-ups and other stakeholders in business ventures that use or want to use innovative solutions in the field of financial services 

The purpose of the regulatory Innovation Hub is to be the point where innovative projects in the field of financial services can obtain informal support, advice or guidelines in order to understand their position within the regulatory framework and to determine regulatory, supervisory and legal issues that are of significance to the project. Some of the functions of the regulatory innovation hub are:

  1. to support the development of innovative projects
  2. to reduce the time needed for innovative projects to enter the market
  3. to lessen regulatory uncertainty
  4. to facilitate access to Hanfa by creating a special contact point
  5. to enable faster, simpler and individual access to projects that fulfil the required conditions
  6. to be an active catalyst in promoting interaction between the financial industry and innovative technological solutions, research, development and society economic needs.

Croatia has adopted the Berlin Group’s NextGenPSD2 technical standard.