Small business should participate more actively in e-commerce in Azerbaijan

Business Materials 18 February 2014 18:38
Small business should be more involved in e-commerce in Azerbaijan, the executive director of the "Millkart Group" processing center Jalal Orujov said.

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.18

By Emin Aliyev- Trend:

Small business should be more involved in e-commerce in Azerbaijan, the executive director of the "Millkart Group" processing center Jalal Orujov said.

"This area can not be lost from sight," he said. "The volume of electronic transactions in the last year amounted to about 56 million manat inside our processing center, however, most part of this volume made up payments for mobile services, public services - both in number and volume of operations. The volume of e-commerce transactions is very small and it is necessary to work on this."

Another important challenge the expert calls more active involvement of non-cash payments of customers who are not holders of any payment card.

"Current market situation and mentality of customers should be taken into account on this issue. A good solution, I think, would be pre-paid gift cards. Customers do not need to go to the bank, to enter into a contract, waste time - he just buys the card and can use the funds, which the card contains," Orujov said.

"It is necessary to attract small and medium entrepreneurs to e-business," the expert said.

"In turn, certain tax breaks would be useful in this matter, perhaps, temporary. This would stimulate the growth of this sector. I think that, the banking community should work on this together with the Ministry of Taxes of the country," the head of the processing center said.

Joint work is conducted together with the Ministry of Taxes on study of the possibility of release of non-cash transactions from certain taxes or reduction of rates on them in recent years, according to Orujov.

"If such an initiative will be adopted and implemented, it will be a very interesting offer for business entities. It is needless to explain the benefits of cashless payments in large retail already familiar with them. At the same time, small and medium business with such opportunities can and should be interested," he said.

The volume of the market for e-commerce in Azerbaijan was 2.6 million manat in 2013, according to the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee. The total volume of retail e-commerce increased by 1.6 times in Azerbaijan compared to the same period of 2012. Total retail sales in the country last year amounted to 19.7 billion manat.

"Millikart Group" LLCwas founded on July 14, 2006 by 18 banks with a authorized capital of 4 million manats. The authorized capital of "Millikart Group" increased up to 5 million manat in 2010, and 19th bank joining to the organization became the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). EBRD increased authorized capital of "MilliKart" to 500 000 manat and get 10 percent interest in LLC.

At present, the center serves 15 banks, which installed more than 380 ATMs, more than 4,000 POS-terminals and issued more than 350,000 cards.

The official exchange rate for Feb.17 was 0.7844 AZN / USD.

Translated by S.I.
Edited by C.N