The Alternative Financial Services Association of North Macedonia
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What is the work of the Association of Financial Institutions of North Macedonia?

Providing secure, socially responsible and sustainable credit practices are the core obligations and commitments of the Association of Financial Institutions. The newly formed Association is a body that unites, so far, seven non-bank financial companies that offer financial services and quick loans for citizens who need funds. Through the signing of the Code of Conduct, the conditions for obtaining credit, quality of services and in general the work of financial companies are standardized, and additional measures for consumer protection are provided.

Thus, the Code covers all the obligations that the non-bank financial company has towards the service requester, i.e. the citizen, as clear rules of cooperation with the clients who received a loan or plan to take a certain loan from a member of the Association and provide a higher level of protection. The Code defines issues for both customer credit assessment, ethical marketing, fast and practical appeal and debt collection procedures.

The affiliation to the Association is marked with the label “Responsible lender” on the company’s website, which means that it works in accordance with the principles established by the Code of Conduct.

The completeness of the function and services of the Association, as well as the dedication to set goals, is reflected in the educational function that the Association has in relation to the citizens. On its website, the Association advises citizens on what situations to consider lending from non-bank lenders, and in which situations it is not advisable, what to do in case of problems, etc. With this service, the Association is completely on the side of the loan applicants and with all the work is in the direction of protection of the applicant, that is, the citizen.

The initiative for forming the Association is fueled by the growing phenomenon of financial companies, which is a result of the needs of the citizens, and the priority goal is to provide unified quality standards in the financial industry. That is why, through its work and the signed code, apart from the attitude of the company towards the service provider, the relationship between the financial companies is also defined. One of the activities of the Association will be creating an industry development strategy together with the supervisory authorities and the legislator and promoting the opportunities offered by non-banking financial technological solutions that will benefit individuals and the society as a whole. Thus, the Association unites its members and encourages joint engagement and long-term co-operation, in addition to standardization and quality of services, even in regulating the market by explaining to the public the various opportunities that financial companies that use FinTech can provide. This will result in more trust from the users, but also from the competent institutions. In this way, greater transparency of the financial industry will be achieved, and awareness will be raised about the need and usefulness of the operations of non-bank financial institutions.

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