Azerbaijan's largest bank introduces first Islamic card
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 25 /Trend E.Aliyev/
International Bank of Azerbaijan (IBA) is the first European bank to present the Qibla card which corresponds to the rules of Islamic banking.
During the presentation of the card on Wednesday, IBA Islamic Banking Department head Behnam Gurbanzade said the card will be released into circulation in the near future. The cost of the card is 40 manats.
Qibla in Islam is the direction facing the Kaaba in Mecca, to which Muslims turn during the prayers and carry out a number of rituals.
Qibla (orientation) is essential in the construction of mosques and other places of worship in many religions, as well as in the daily lives of Muslims, and serves as a symbol of the unity of all Muslims.
This debit card was issued in conjunction with MasterCard Platinum. It is made in an unusual design and is equipped with an electronic compass indicating the direction of Mecca. With the help of this card, the card holder will be able to cash funds in the account, as well as pay for the purchase of various goods and services.
Qibla card will be issued as a debit card, but can also be used with a limit of debt, issued by the bank. Prolongation of the limit term is discussed with the card holder at the end of the debt payment period. The debt paid by the holder is paid into card's balance statement and the debt limit restored.
IBA started rendering Islamic banking services in 2003, becoming the first in the country's banking market. The bank has been rendering services in this sphere at the expense of resources attracted from the Islamic Development Bank group.
Last year a consortium of Salans, KPMG, Pinsent Masons and Dar al Shariah companies was assisting IBA in the creation of a specialised structure for rendering products and services of Islamic banking.
The International Bank of Azerbaijan was founded in January 1992 and is the largest in the country. The bank's main shareholder is the Azerbaijani government which owns a 50.2 per cent share with a 49.8 per cent of share owned by private individuals and legal entities.
The official exchange rate for September 25 is 0.7844 AZN/USD.