Modern payment services are typically adopted easily by the Romanian public and we are not aware of any political pressures made with respect to the payment services market.
Payment services may only be provided in Romania by: (i) entities holding a payment services license granted by the National Bank of Romania; (ii) entities holding a payment services license granted by another Member State of the European Union, under the passporting rules; (iii) credit institutions; (iv) electronic currency issuers; (v) providers of giro postal services; (vi) the European Central Bank or the national banks, when not acting in their public authority capacity; and (vi) Member States, when not acting in their public authority capacity.
The minimum share capital of a payment service provider must be of: (i) EUR 20,000; (ii) EUR 50,000 or (iii) EUR 125,000, depending on the categories of payment services to be performed.
There is no licensing fee and there are no costs directly imposed by the law, however, the payment institution must prove that it fulfills the regulatory and operational requirements provided by the laws and the regulations of the National Bank of Romania.
The financial reserves of the payment institution must at all times be at the highest level of the: (i) minimum share capital; or (ii) the own funds requirements computed in accordance with the regulation of the National Bank of Romania, based on the operational particularities of the payment institution.
There is no official statistic regarding the revenues of the payment services market in Romania, however certain statistics provided by the National Bank of Romania and the European Central Bank may offer an overview of the Romanian payment services market. Please find below the most relevant numbers:
- Number of active cards: 12,451,513 (as of end of 2017);
- Number of POSs (of resident payment service providers): 193,934 (as of end of 2017);
- It is expected that the digital payments market to reach a total transaction value of USD 4,626,000,000 (source: https://www.statista.com/outlook/296/148/digital-payments/romania#market-revenue)