The period of the COVID-19 pandemic we are living in, plays an important role in determining the trends of developing the digital payments, Tamerlan Rustamov, head of the expert group "On Payment Systems and Digital Banking" of the Association of Banks of Azerbaijan, told Trend.
"The development of remote banking services, the expansion of the sphere of electronic commerce and the growth of the volume of contactless payments are based on testing digital payments," Rustamov added.
"The benefits which applied by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) during the pandemic (a 50 percent reduction in service fees for cards, contactless options for extending the validity of payment cards, delivery of bank cards at the request of customers, an increase in the amount of contactless payments and a number of other services) had a positive impact on the development of digital payments," head of the expert group said.
"Moreover, the processes of banks' introduction of new products and services in the digital ecosystem were accelerated, reforms were carried out to improve mobile banking services, the spheres of activity of non-bank payment service providers were expanded and their interaction with banks was intensified, the activity of e-commerce platforms were improved," Rustamov said.
"Moreover, according to the Central Bank of Azerbaijan, as of December 1, 2020, 55,000 POS terminals were installed in the country in retail trade, catering and other facilities in Azerbaijan," head of the expert group said.
"An average of 83 payment transactions were made in the amount of about 4,069.4 manat ($2,393.7) during November through each of the POS-terminals installed in retail trade, public catering and other facilities," head of the expert group said.
"This figure reached 1,796.6 manat ($1,056.8) or 37 successful transactions for the same period of 2019 while in 2018 - 1,616.2 manat ($950) or 23 payments through one terminal," Rustamov said.
"The total volume of non-cash payments through the network of POS terminals with payment cards issued in the country amounted to 1.9 billion manat ($1.1 billion) for 11 months of 2020," head of the expert group said. "This figure has doubled compared to the same period of 2018."
"The total volume of e-commerce transactions for the analyzed period amounted to 3.3 billion manat ($1.9 billion)," Rustamov added. "An increase of 2.5 times is observed here."
In general, Rustamov stressed that the turnover of non-cash payments on transactions with payment cards amounted to 22 percent.
"Taking into account the statistics data, the products and services which are provided by payment service providers, small and medium-sized businesses should highly appreciate the existing potential for accepting non-cash payments," Rustamov added.
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