The Alternative Financial Services Association of North Macedonia
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The financial company CrediYes is joining the Association of Financial Companies of North Macedonia

With great pleasure, AFD is wishing a warm welcome to the financial company CrediYES. CrediYes DOO Skopje is a financial company which works on the resolution issued by the Ministry of Finance of Republic of Macedonia 13-7340/4 from 31.20.2019. “The financial company CrediYes offers fast and suitable consumer loans with flexible installment payments and without hidden expenses. Transparency, respect for(towards) the clients, quality service and speed is our priority per each of our services. By connecting to AFD and by taking part in the activities of the Association we believe that we can contribute to the growth of the FinTech industry of North Macedonia” — stated the directors of CrediYes, Borislav Stefanov Georgiev I Ivajlo Mihajlov Indzov.

The general Secretary of the Association, Jana Nikodinovska is encouraging non-banking financial companies to join the Association so that we can work on improvement and growth of the FinTech industry: “We formed the Association as a platform for dialog and collaboration with the regulator for defining a strategy for development of the FinTech industry, to work together on improving the financial literacy and transparency, not only on the non-banking financial institutions, but also on the entire financial sector of North Macedonia.”

The Association of Financial Companies of North Macedonia unites the companies for financial technology, also known as FinTech, and other organizations that work outside the banking sector, providing financial services to the citizens of North Macedonia. The mission of the Association is to create responsible practice, with a purpose of long-term collaboration and positive assessment by the consumers and the market regulation institutions, simultaneously explaining to the general public the different opportunities, the financial companies who are using FinTech for development of individuals and the society, can provide. The Association is formed with the purpose to observe the sector for financial companies and to promote their growth.


Interview with Filomena Pljakovska-Asprovska, Chief Executive Director of CaSys AD Skopje

Filomena Pljakovska-Asprovska is the president of the management board and chief executive director of CaSys AD Skopje, the only processor in the field of card operation, e-commerce and certified payment card personalization bureau in the Republic of North Macedonia with whom AFD has signed a memorandum of cooperation for education and improving the financial literacy. We talked with Mrs. Pljakovska-Asprovska about the experiences in 2020 under the Covid-19 pandemic conditions, as well as the perspectives on the growth of the digital technologies and digital channels in North Macedonia.

2020 was a year full of challenges for everyone on a global level, especially with the appearance of the covid-19 pandemic. How do you grapple with the covid-19 challenges and what measures are you taking?

CaSys as а socially responsible company and a processor which offers services to the commercial banks, financial institutions and others interested subjects in the field of working with payment cards and e-commerce with the newly appeared Covid-19 conditions, took measures within its scope with one goal, continuity of services and support from the clients.

From the very beginning of the pandemic all of the employees with tasks that allows them to work from home, do their working tasks from home. Some employees, whose physical attendance is inevitable in the company offices, work with a rotating shift system.

In this period, the high awareness and the responsibility of all employees came to light, for which the management is especially grateful.


The digital technologies, including e-commerce and e-payment, were very important in these Covid-19 conditions, how meaningful will they be in the next period of time?

As an independent processor certified by MasterCard and Visa we are keeping up with and practice the internationally accepted standards for work, and the accordance with these standards with only one purpose, providing high amount of security and operational confidentiality of its clients. As a company we continue to strive for effective capacities for safety, protection and prevention from abuse of payment cards, collaboration with all affected sides, work together with the banks to provide e-commerce and keep the use of payment cards, as a medium, classified and available for the clients.

In that sense, with great honor and pleasure we affirm that CaSys was a sponsor in 2020 on a conference for e-commerce organized by AETM.

There were shared experiences, novelties, but also relevant projects about growth and development of e-commerce, as well as about safety in e-payment, which primarily include advises for safe online payments. By each online payment the user has to research the website from which he buys, and inform himself about the seller. Avoid purchases on hotspot network and always check if there is a verified online payment on the website.

How would you rate the level of financial literacy, in terms of cyber security and in terms of opportunities for financial inclusion of the population in North Macedonia?

We have to be honest and mark that Republic of North Macedonia has a safe, secure, classified and resistant digital environment, supported by quality built capacities, highly qualified experts, built level of trust and national and international collaboration in the field of cyber security.

All stakeholders, the Banks, the Financial companies and the National Bank are continuously giving their best by organizing presentations and twinning-projects. Our company is also anticipating on events and is unreservedly prepared to give its contribution wherever it is needed. We are going to keep working dedicated so that we can deliver and develop safe, modern and approachable solutions. A part of our mission in 2021 is devoted to a couple of editorials regarding education and financial literacy, the opportunities for financial inclusion through the digital channels for paying with a payment card. The published contents are going to be dedicated to safe usage of payment cards, safe online purchase and the benefits of encouraging the growth of e-commerce, in a way, understandable and applicable for any kind of payment card users target groups.

The Covid-19 pandemic that imposed a different way of life for a year, increased online shopping even more all over the world and online ordering became everyone’s everyday life, even for the most basic human needs as buying groceries and food orders with home delivery.

We are following the trend and regarding the use of payment cards, we can freely say that the awareness for their usage and most importantly the awareness for the security issues are on a very high level.

As a processor, what are you proud of in this year that passes by, and what are your plans for 2021?

In the recent past under this global pandemic conditions, in CaSys along with secured continuity and consistency in delivery of the existing services for our clients, we also develop new services which will provide additional benefits for our clients and their end users — payment cards owners and merchants. The newest services that we offered to the banks were “Updating mobile phone number on an ATM”, Web service“ (checking and updating payment card status and ATM/POS/Internet limit directly by the payment card owner) and new card payment products (stickers/minitag).

In parallel through the system owned by CaSys for preventing suspicious transactions, almost every bank in our system were defined in order to protect and prevent payment cards misuse. Regarding our portal cPay where more than 60% of the virtual shops are currently working on the Macedonian market, i.e. 800 e-commerce merchants, 29,800 registered clients and on average, more than 280,000 transactions are made monthly, we implemented a 3D security model. The 3D security model allows the payment card owner authentication when shopping online with MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa 3D.

New cPay functionalities are enabling one-step payment, payment in two steps — pre-authorization and completion, refunding/partial refunding, recurring payments, Card-On-File, opportunity for one merchant to use terminals for different payment card brands through different banks. The benefits for the participants in e-commerce are multiple. For the banks, a significant additional service for merchants is flexibility in the ongoing work according to the principle 24×7(without limitation in the working hours) for the end users payment of products and online services from anywhere, without physical presence.

We are very grateful to all of our clients with whom we worked together and finished projects with mandatory importance for MasterCard and Visa. We are proud of our team who consistently and with great dedication finalized all projects on time in these Covid-19 pandemic conditions.

In the new 2021 we expect to continue with the same dynamic on new projects and new services towards accelerated development of digital channels and payment methods.


Close to AFD members: Tigo – interview with Filip Dimitrovski, the director of Tigo Finance

  1. First of all, who are Tigo Finance?

By definition, the only answer would be non-banking finance company, or more precise FinTech company licenсed by Ministry of Finance of Republic of Macedonia, which offers easy simple and quick solutions for supporting physical persons, with a purpose to intercept with their financial needs. We are present on the market for over 3 years, more specifically from December 2017 when the company was founded.

However, if I expand my answer, I would say that we are a contemporary company with high ethical and professional standards and with solidly rooted values which are used at the highest level, with our clients and to the corporate culture of the company and the employees, but also in the general actions of the financial market and in the community, that has serious intentions to improve the population purchasing power and to improve the financial inclusion of the social stratification.

From the aspect of our product, we prefer to state that we offer a product, for the citizens who need a financial support in a quick, simple and transparent way, in the moments when they need it the most. We offer credits from 2.000 to 80.000 denars, with an application process and approvement estimated in less than 10 minutes, thanks to the advanced technology we are using. The advanced and complex algorithms are providing full assessment on the creditworthiness of the applicant, so that way in only 30 seconds the clients will receive information if their application is accepted, and in a couple of minutes they will have the approved amount: something that is extremely important for the customers and is positioning us as one of the leading brands in the industry of the non-banking financial companies.

During these 3 years, Tigo provided access to finance with an amount of over 30 million euros for citizens who needed funds, of which more that 60.000 are unique clients.

In this moment, Tigo has more than 80 employees, top professionals in their field, currently has 15 branch offices in the whole country, and with the current dynamic of expansion which will proceed until the end of this year, we expect around 30% growth in the number of employees. All these data speaks in favor of our strategy for obtaining a quick, simple and transparent access to finance being proper and accurate and we remain to move in that direction.

  1. You are the executive director of Tigo, and also the President of the Association of Financial Companies of North Macedonia, so in that position what are the advantages to be a part of such an organization?

Tigo Finance is one of the founders of the Association of Financial Companies of North Macedonia. The presidency of this Association, above all, gives an exceptional advantage that together with the other memebers of the Association we can act more powerful in the way of creating a responsible practice, with a purpose for a long-term collaboration and a positive judgement by the consumers and the institutions for regulating the market. In fact, with signing the Codex for good practice all the members of AFD formally commit to responsible lending and providing a higher level of protection of the clients, but also providing clear rules for collaboration with the clients which took a loan or are planing to take one from the member of the Association.

AFD stand for the overall development of the FinTech industry in North Macedonia, so the foundation of the Association was an answer for the need to raise the quality of working in the sector. Although the industry is already positioning as a serious actor in the financial market, it is still relatively young, so from here as members of the Association, we have an obligation to acts together for providing unified standards for quality of the industry, but also guarantee safe, socially responsible and sustainable lending practices for customers. Additionally, as an Association, we are actively working on promoting a collaboration with the competent institutions, so in that direction, as members, we have an opportunity to initiate meetings and collaborations with different actors of interest and to act in a way of strengthen the relations with the regulator regarding the decisions that refer to the industry of non-banking financial companies and are relevant to our work.

All of this represents an advantage to be a part of the Association, but on the other hand it is also a big challenge and a responsibility to talk in the name of the overall sector of non-banking financial companies.

  1. How did the Covid-19 crisis reflected on your work in North Macedonia?

The health and economic crisis undoubtedly affected the whole business sector, so the FinTech industry was not immune to the crisis neither. The biggest challenge was maintaining the liquidity, knowing that the non-banking financial companies are financed from their one resources, unlike the traditional financial institutions that work with the population’s deposits and other cheap sources for funding.

On the other hand, the need for financial services, in a crisis or not, will always be present and that is the leverage in the non-banking financial companies, because one of the main purposes of this sector is enabling inclusion for the financially unserved population by the traditional financial system. However in Covid conditions, when the duty of the financial companies was even more significant, from the mentioned challenges, the ones who suffered the most were the citizens which in this crisis period had the biggest need of alternative financial services.

This situation taught us that for the progress of FinTech we strive for, there should be a well-regulated institutional framework which will take care for these challenges to be surpassed easily, so we stay available for the regulators to assess the challenges together and to create strategical approach to overcome the situation faster, and with that to help the population to surpass this crisis period.

To summarize: Non-banking financial institutions are, and in the post-Covid period will continue to be crucial in meeting the population’s short-term financial needs, offering support to the clients for overcoming the economical crisis. From here, we expect that the situation for the industry in the next period will stabilize, but only with the support and promoting of the collaboration with the relevant organs and regulators.

  1. In your judgement, is there legal and business preconditions for the non-banking financial sector development in our country?

I would like to say that there are legal and business preconditions for the non-banking financial sector development, and if I lean on the recently published feasibility-study with results from the survey on the development of the Fintech sector in the country conducted by the National Bank, the answer will be that the overall sector for financial services in the Republic of North Macedonia is ready for the FinTech transformation. This claim is in our favor, but it is important to emphasize that Tigo, as a Fintech company, is practically founded digitally and our operations are fully in accordance with the new digital age and the new financial needs that are imposed. From here, I am really happy with the fact that the sector of the non-banking financial companies can be at the leader of that digital transformation in the financial system, which creates extremely beneficial business preconditions for development.

The crucial findings indicate that the need for development of the Fintech sector is justified, but also that further changes in the regulation are necessary to support the development of the Fintech industry. In fact, these necessary changes in the regulation are the biggest obstacle for the development of the sector, because that framework that will support innovative solutions, while undoubtedly taking into account the potential risks, is a precondition for industry development from a legal point of view and for modernization of the overall financial system.

The non-banking financial companies have an important role in the recovery of the whole economy, because they provide improvement of the purchasing power of the population and ensure financial inclusion of the unserved population. At the same time, although the total share of the sector may be small, it still employs thousands of people, and affects the overall socio-economic environment through its contribution to government duties that are not to be neglected, but also through community development projects. In other words, appropriate development of the FinTech industry is both in the interest of the citizens and in the interest of the economy, and these are factors that need to be seen by the regulators. It is necessary to improves the collaboration with the state organs, in order for the sector to be involved in the adoption of regulations for the development of the Fintech industry in the Republic of North Macedonia in long-terms.

From a business aspect, I believe that there are preconditions for development of the non-banking financial companies sector, as I mentioned, also because the non-banking financial companies enable approach to finance for citizens and small business that has difficulties for access to financial funds in another way. A beneficial business precondition should not exclude the fact that the Fintech industry opens up a huge potential to be a driver of the financial industry in the future, especially as the needs of customers for greater availability of financial services on digital channels in the digital age will grow, so the new Fintech conditions based on advanced technologies are in fact a response to the increasingly dynamic market, and from here, the non-banking financial companies, although are the youngest segment in the financial sector of North Macedonia, they are still the fastest growing segment which supports hundreds of thousands of citizens and small companies.


2020 analysis: The financial companies, even under challenging conditions, gave support in overcoming the effects caused by the Covid – crisis, and continue to be open for development of the FinTech industry.

According to the statistic from the National bank of North Macedonia, within the financial system of North Macedonia, the total assets of the other (non-banking) financial institutions in 2020 made annual growth of 12,8%.

The assets of the financial companies have annual growth of 14.1%. At the end of 2020, the total assets of the financial companies are around 5 billion denars, and most of them or 89% are referred to the needs from the private sector. The approved credits of the population at the end of 2020 are around 3.5 billion denars, while the approved credits of the companies are around 980 million denars. Compared to the end of 2019, the population’s lending increased for 24.3%, while the lending to companies decreased for 4.6%.

The two-digit annual growth of the population’s credits in 2020 is is achieved, despite the disruption of the balances during this year, as a result of the situations from the Covid pandemic. Non-banking financial companies, that are complementary to the traditional financial system in credit support of the private sector, even under these challenging conditions, gave support in overcoming the negative effects caused by the Covid crisis. In the following period they will continue to support the private sector to make the recovery of the economy from the pandemic easier.

Maja Kadievska Vojnovikj, financial expert and former Vice Governor of the National bank of North Macedonia believes that these numbers are encouraging. “The intensive credit support of the population by the financial companies even in the Covid crisis is commendable. This transformation of the credit market that happened all around the world did not go around our economy. The rapid growth of the alternative lending outside of the traditional channels has been especially emphasized in the last couple of years and should continue. The growing credit support to the population and the companies by the financial companies, which are complementary to the traditional lenders – banks and savings banks, indicates that there is a need to increase the level of financial intermediation and financial inclusion in the domestic economy. ” – estimates Kadievska Vojnovikj.

The role of the financial companies is especially pointed out in the segment of consumer credits, but there is also the support of micro and small companies. At the same time, the use of modern advances in technology, ie digital channels and new business models by many financial companies is a positive step to join the digital age

North Macedonia must get involved in the new digital age and must use the advantages of modern technology. Kadievska Vojnovikj points out that a Strategy for development of the FinTech industry in the Republic of North Macedonia is needed. “The Strategy should start by defining clear goals, which are about FinTech increasing the financial inclusion of the population, improving access to finance for micro, small and medium enterprises, increasing the flow of money in the economy or in short, increasing the total power of the economy. At the same time, the operation of the FinTech companies increases the competition and encourages innovation within the traditional providers of financial services, and the innovations are inherently deflationary, ie they have lower prices for financial products and services. We will all benefit from the entry of FinTech”, concluded Maja Kadievska Vojnovi.

Besides creating a strategy, the adequate regulation should provide growth of FinTech in our country. Also, it is necessary for all the regulators to prepare for the new period. In this context, the dialog with the regulator for the stability of the financial companies sector, is needed now more then ever.

We see 2021 as the Fintech year in our country and we expect accelerated activities by the regulator and the institutions in order to support the development of this sector in North Macedonia. I appreciate that the non-banking financial companies where Fintech is integrated in the basis of their work, and especially the membership of AFD as one of the most technologically advanced non-banking financial companies in our country, have excellent knowledge and expertise in the field, and can offer significant support for creating the strategies.“- stated Filip Dimitrovski, President of the Association of Financial Companies of Northern Macedonia.

For illustration, according to the data from the last Financial stability report from 2019 made by the National Bank of North Macedonia, banks participate with 81.4% in the total assets of the financial system, and evidently in the last few years, the share of the non-banking financial companies is growing, with up to 0.6% of the total assets of the financial system.


More information about the Association of Financial Companies of North Macedonia is available on the website