ATA News

BoA Governor: Joining SEPA will benefit individuals, businesses and tourism

TIRANA, March 3 /ATA/- Albania is set to become the first Western Balkan country to submit its bid to join the Single European Payments Area (SEPA).

The move is being made after Albania’s central bank has fully harmonized the regulatory framework. The World Bank found in a recent report that the country has met all the nine necessary criteria.

The governor of the Bank of Albania, Gent Sejko said in an interview that joining SEPA will benefit individuals, businesses and tourism alike.

“The Bank of Albania is working hard to meet the application deadlines. The application should be submitted by June and Albania will hopefully join the unified European payments system two or three months later. The move will significantly benefit individuals, emigrants and tourists, importers and exporters, and it will save around 20 million euros in the first year alone due to lower money transfer fees, fast payouts and transactions,” central bank governor said.

According to the Bank of Albania, building an inter-banking network for euro-denominated transfers helped Albanian citizens save around 47 million euros in 2022. Joining SEPA will increase savings as it will provide for much cheaper and faster transactions.

Albania’s removal from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) represented a major step towards the country’s full-fledged integration into the European Union’s financial market.