Electronic Payments Booming in Azerbaijan
The volume of electronic payments in Azerbaijan in 2013 was around twice the size of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the chairman of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA), Elman Rustamov.
Speaking at a board meeting where the CBA’s results were presented, Rustamov said that the stability of national payment systems improved last year. Assisted by AZIPS, the country’s large-value payment system, payment volumes totaled 114.258bn (AZN) (US$1=0.7838AZN) while operations on AZN23.27m were conducted via XONKS, the clearing system for smaller payments.
By comparison the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijani said that by late 2013 the country’s GDP totalled AZN57.7bn, a 5.8% year-on-year increase.
Rustamov said the CBA has encouraged the development financial intermediaries and the financial infrastructure to support diversification of the country’s economy, and played an active role in implementing the government’s economic policy.
“Flexible management tools have been implemented for the management of financial stability risks and excess liquidity in the banking sector, as a result of which the average interest rates on loans, issued to the economy, began to seriously decline,” he said.
Rustamov added that Azerbaijan’s banking sector has developed rapidly and strengthened over recent years. There are 43 banks in Azerbaijan, which last year increased lending to the economy by nearly 26% to AZN15422.9m.