This Tuesday went Digital: Digital Festival’s Business Tuesday

Featuring Digital Festival, today, Innovation Centre Kosovo hosted the 21st Business Tuesday – but this time digital-talking Kosovo’s most frequented areas: banks, universities and public services!

Digital-talking Raiffeisen Bank

To kick off the event, Kreshnik Halili, Head of IT Department at Raiffeisen Bank talked about banks going digital. From a “one ton hard disk we have transformed to a 1 gig memory card that fits in a wallet,” Halili says, and it is exactly these advancements which have opened new opportunities for banking.

The banking digitalization has been going on for while; the ATM’s have been put to use since the year 2000 and it’s quite likely that a large majority of Kosovars already use e-banking in their daily baking tasks.  However, as Halili explains, with the growth of internet, the ways of operating have expanded immensely – from applying to loans in social networks such as Facebook to API identification instead of traditional ID cards, banking has experienced giant transformations.

However, today, the question is: will we be able to keep up with it? “Digitalization here can be pretty difficult in the beginning, and it’s not about the technical challenges, but simply of the awareness of the population who somehow need to embrace new services,” Halili says. “This challenge continues and this is what I hope Digital Festival will achieve – encourage, educate and make people curious, not only the youth but also the middle aged people who have grown up with technology” he concludes.

Digital-talking Kosovo Tax Administration

Following Halili, a whole new perspective was given on another aspect of the digital world: the operation of Kosovo’s Tax Administration by Head of IT Department, Rifat Hyseni.

Probably most of you are familiar with the KTA’s initiative of collecting fiscal coupons and getting reimbursed for them: You fill an application online, deliver the coupons and the money is in your account – that’s it! Well, this would have not been so easy a few years ago – with all the human resources and the paper work involved; for instance, Hyseni explains that declaration and tax payment “in 2008 took up to 4 weeks, 30 officials and a 20-30% delay of the revenue entry, whereas in 2014 it can be done within a day, 2 officials and a 0.1 % delay.”

Besides the base integrated system of for all taxes and taxpayers, KTA also has a digitalized reporting system (MIS), electronic management of tasks, files and outside connections with costums, treasury and so forth. The next step, as Hyseni says is the electronic receipt – which will process millions of transactions.

Digital-talking University of Prishtina

The last, but not least to explain the digitalization process on the field of education and the largest higher institution in the country, the university “Hasan Prishtina,” was the Head of its IT Department, Isak Shabani.

While enthusiastically explaining the eight year work of the department on the process of digitalization, Shabani explains that everything started off with a donation of 22 routers, which marked the beginning of this new era for the university. Later on, as the professor explains, “the digitalization of academic and administrative work has reduced the complex procedures of manual services, has saved time and costs and increased the work efficiency.”

Today, the IT Department offers services to all other departments in the university; offers online access to all the grades, transcripts and other services for students through the electronic system SEMS and is one of the few universities in Europe to have the domain ‘.edu,’ which have resulted in the elimination of the grade index (indeksi) completely.

Over coffee and fruitful exchanges between the participants and the panelists, these three presentations concluded this month’s digitalized Business Tuesday. Don’t forget to follow the Digital Festival for many more exciting events to come throughout the month! And if you have your own ideas or want to share your creativity check out ICK’s call for new teams!

See you next Monday at our next Digital Festival event – Crypton Planet

Blog by: Shpresa Frrokaj

Photo credits: Arben Llapashtica