In a recent interview, Avşar Bey provided an update on the progress of cashless payments in Azerbaijan, stating that they anticipate reaching 50% for non-cash payments and 60% for NFC payments. He highlighted that the current situation is positive, with 30% of the population's payments being conducted through card systems, a significant increase from 10% five years ago. Bey expressed expectations that digitalization in payments in Azerbaijan will surpass 50% in the next few years, driven by technological advancements and consumer adoption.
Bey noted the increasing popularity of mobile payment solutions like "Apple Pay" and "Google Pay," which have approached 20% of payments. He emphasized the convenience of these methods, allowing transactions without physically using cash or cards. Bey observed a global surge in contactless payments post-pandemic and predicted that in Azerbaijan, contactless payments would exceed 50% of total payments in the next couple of years.
The discussion shifted to the cybersecurity aspect of the rapid digitalization of payments. Bey assured that mobile payments using technologies like encryption are highly secure, with no loopholes for security breaches. Mastercard, he mentioned, supports partner organizations with services like "Ciber Front," "Ciber Quant," and "RiskRekon" to enhance their cybersecurity measures.
Regarding open banking, Bey highlighted its positive impact on small and medium businesses (SMEs) and individual users. Open banking facilitates SMEs' access to credit resources and streamlines personal financial management for consumers. The increased collaboration in this field is expected to benefit both consumers and banks, fostering a more favorable environment.
On cross-border transfers, Bey stated that Mastercard is rapidly implementing solutions in Azerbaijan with low commission fees and instant fund delivery. They are working with other banks to expand collaboration, provided the proposed solutions are effective and of high quality.
Finally, Bey discussed the ongoing efforts to enable money transfers through mobile numbers, emphasizing that this method is currently under development in collaboration with ABB. He introduced the concept of using "MasterPass" for mobile number-based transfers, making it easier for users to send money without needing detailed banking information. Bey highlighted that this solution is not limited to Azerbaijan and can extend to international transactions, providing a seamless experience for users worldwide.