Master Card aims to focus more on Azerbaijan: interview with MasterCard Direct Services manager general

Business Materials 23 June 2009 18:14 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, June 23 / Trend , N. Ismayilova/

Delegation of the MasterCard money transfer system is holding meeting with the member banks in Baku. MasterCard Direct Services Manager General Roberto Romano spoke in an exclusive interview with Trend .

Trend : What is the key aim of MasterCard Days in Azerbaijan? What issues will be discussed with representatives of Azerbaijani banks during the meeting?

A: Azerbaijani banking market, including plastic cards market is growing very fast. The banking network is large and the local market reaches to another level of maturity. It develops and appears in a new light. And we believe that the card products, which will be presented in future, will be even more improved and differentiated for each bank. This means that such a meeting is appropriate at this level of development of the market of plastic cards. This will provide Azerbaijani banks with certain knowledge on business cards. So today we will talk not only about how MasterCard is using the resources on the market, but also give specific monographic presentation of the pro-management and technological aspects of the card business and methods of improving the bank card products on the market.

Q: Only certain MasterCard products are presented in Azerbaijan market. Do you plan to discuss introducing new products?

A: I believe that this is not the main issue because virtually not all markets around the world, including United States have all products that MasterCard can offer. This is because the matter is how people live and use banking products, including plastic cards. Card products are different.  They correspond to the place where they are spread. Of course, there is an opportunity for some MasterCard card products to be represented in the Azerbaijani market in future, and I do not see any obstacles to this. It is a question of the future, and we will discuss some of these products at the meeting. But I believe that this should not become the focus. Instead, the focus should be confidence that every local bank has the right knowledge and tools to ensure products according to current market requirements.

Q: Do you plan to expand partnership with Azerbaijani banks?

A: We would be glad about partnership with a large number of Azerbaijani banks, especially if the banks feel the need to use our products. But for the moment we are carrying out proactive action. However, this does not mean that if various banks are willing to work with us, and we refuse them, we just discuss it together and decide whether it benefits both parties. Now we are working with 17 Azerbaijani banks and at the same time negotiate with others.

Q: How do you assess Azerbaijan's significance in the region?

A: Azerbaijan is a market which develops at a fast rate especially in the Caucasus and Central Asian region. We are very pleased with its development and I think it is an attractive market. Therefore, we will pay more and more attention to Azerbaijan.