On the 16th of June, the Bulgarian Fintech Association in collaboration with the European Commission organized an online public discussion on the new EU Digital Finance Strategy. The Bulgarian National Event received enormous interest from the Fintech ecosystem in the country with more than 200 attendees – 2nd most attended event after the Lithuanian Digital Finance Outreach webinar. The online conference was a part of an on-going EU initiative, started in February, whose goal is to consolidate the main priorities which the EU should incorporate in the new legislative framework. The -7-hour public discussion gave the chance to all interested parties from Bulgarian Fintech ecosystem, both from the public and private sectors in the Digital finance sphere to express their opinion and thoughts on the future shape of the Digital Finance legislation in the EU.

More about the event

The beginning of the event was given by the head of EU Digital Finance Unit Jan Ceyssens, who expressed the EU Commission readiness to discuss topics such as electronic onboarding, data sharing, cyber resilience, and technological neutrality of the new legislation. The second keynote speaker was the Chairman of the Bulgarian Fintech Association, Valeri Valtchev, who presented the Association and the Bulgarian Fintech ecosystem survey on the subject matter of the event.  Unfortunately, due to technical issues the Deputy Minister of Finance of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Chairman of the IT Committee of the Association of the Banks in Bulgaria could not take part in the event.  

The following panels gave the chance to hear the perspective of both the public and private sectors of Digital Finance organizations. We discussed the role of Fintech companies in the development of the banking sector and the COVID-19 effect on Digital Finance. Speakers in these panels were the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Bulgaria, Bulgarian Development Bank, Varengold bank, Raiffeisenbank, Postbank, Borica, Paynetics, Paysera,  myPOS and Phos.

The next panels were on cybersecurity resilience in the Digital era and the importance of an adequate regulatory framework for the development of Digital Finance. These panels were occupied by the Commission of Personal Data Protection, Bulgarian National Bank, Mastercard, Experian, Notolytix, Mnemonica, Experian, and Penkov, Markov and Partners.

The conference ended with a panel on the Financial Literacy topic, which brought together the Financial Literacy Initiative Foundation, Sofia University, LogSentinel and Klear.

Overall, the representatives gave their opinion on the following questions:

  1. How can the EU enable fintech firms to scale up across the single market
  2. Common framework – how to adapt the regulatory and make it technology-neutral and enable innovation
  3. How can the EU promote a more data-driven financial sector? How to make this data available for all interested parties.
  4. What can the EU do to enhance digital operation resilience in the financial system – digital finance comes with its own cyber risks? Standards on cyber resilience.

The next steps

In the next couple of days, the BFA is going to come up with an official statement to the European Commission on the new EU Digital Finance strategy, which will sum up all key points discussed during the event. Then the BFA will keep a close eye on the new EU Digital Finance Strategy and will keep posted with the results of our joint efforts.

If you want to watch the full recordings of the panels you can do it for free here:

1. Introductory speeches

2. Panel 1 – The role of Fintech companies in the banking sector

3. Panel 2 – COVID-19 and Digital Finance

4. Panel 3 – Cybersecurity for the Digital Finance world

5. Panel 4 – The importance of an adequate regulatory framework

6. Panel 5 – Financial literacy – the building blocks to Digital Finance