Press Release

The National Bank will accelerate the digital transformation of the banking sector

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus initiates a number of systemic measures aimed at accelerating the digital transformation of banking services and the payment system. In this regard, on August 30, 2017 the National Bank held a dialogue with representatives of banks, during which key innovative projects for the banking system and promising areas for the banking business development were discussed.

The National Bank emphasizes that the implementation of innovations in the banking market will stimulate the susceptibility of the national economy to global digitalization processes and tap into the unused potential of economic growth.

"The transition from the traditional economy to the digital one has become a worldwide trend. In Belarus at this stage we are talking about the digital transformation of the financial sector, the systematic and progressive introduction of new financial technologies", noted Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus Pavel Kallaur during the meeting with banks. "Innovative solutions will allow increasing the efficiency of the financial sector in particular and the economy as a whole. Therefore, the introduction and development of innovative banking products should be reflected in the strategies of all banks for the coming year".

By means of initiating effective and secure digitalization of the financial sector, the National Bank in concert with the Government and market participants works on creating legislative, economic and institutional conditions for the introduction and development of innovations.

Key changes in the regulatory environment that will ensure the introduction of technological innovations in the payment market are envisaged in the concept of Law "On Payment Services in the Republic of Belarus" and the draft amendments to the Banking Code.

With a view to creating economic conditions that stimulate innovation in the financial market, the National Bank has prepared a number of initiatives to develop mechanisms and settlement systems.

The initiatives of the National Bank for the creation of innovative settlement systems will contribute to the development of an efficient business environment and acceleration of the cash turnover. The possibility of creating a system of instant payments that ensures the transfer of funds to the recipient in the on-line "24/7" mode is considered. The creation of the automated information system that will provide on-line interaction between its participants with regard to the fulfillment of the payers’ obligations will make it possible to eliminate the out-of-date mechanism of keeping the card files of unpaid payment documents in time with the banks.

One of the key directions in the development of the digital financial market is the introduction by banks of innovative software and technical solutions in the financial sphere based on open interfaces (Application Programming Interface, API) for application programming.

The establishment of the institutional environment will also be facilitated by the development of a number of projects that were implemented earlier. In particular, the preparatory stage of the implementation of the Interbank Identification System (IIS) is being completed, which creates a unified banking and financial space in the retail banking market. More than 6 million records of banks’ clients have already been uploaded to the IIS, of which more than 4 million can make an independent registration in the IIS using mobile phones. The National Bank is counting on activating the work of banks aimed at connecting to this system.

Non-contact technologies and payment services based on modern innovative solutions are developing in the country. The National Bank is interested in the work of international payment systems for the early introduction and wide application in the Belarusian market of mobile payment services based on tokenization technology. In the near future, it is planned to launch payment services Samsung Pay, Apple Pay and Android Pay, which allow making payments using mobile devices.

The information system created by the National Bank using Blockchain technology opens up wide opportunities for banks. In practical work, banks will be able to use Blockchain to transfer information on issued bank guarantees and when working in the securities market.

Taking into account the growing interest of citizens and economic entities of Belarus to cryptocurrencies, the National Bank conducts the study and active monitoring of relevant experience of world financial institutions, regulators and technology companies.

The results of the dialogue with the banking community will be taken into account by the National Bank in preparation of practical decisions on digital transformation of the financial sector in partnership with the relevant government agencies, organizations and market participants.