Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 18
By Azad Hasanli - Trend:
Azerbaijan will introduce a national payment system in early 2016, a source in the banking circles told Trend Nov. 18.
But Azerbaijan will not reject the international inter-bank system of transferring information and making payments - SWIFT completely.
At present, the project is being tested, the statement said.
At this stage, the matter rests in organizing the inter-bank national switching and clearing (payment cards transactions related to data processing and transactions).
"A payment system will be launched in late 2015-early 2016," he said. "The project will allow making domestic transactions through its own system, rather than through SWIFT, Visa and MasterCard."
This is connected with the security, the statement said.
"Security must be at the first place," he said. "The events related to the illegal sanctions imposed on some countries to close their access to SWIFT, once again show that outsourcing services are not always qualitative and safe, especially when it concerns the state interests."
It is not planned to fully reject SWIFT after the creation of a national payment system.
"The national payment system is being created for interbank payments inside the country. In international payments, we, as before, will use SWIFT," said another banking sector expert. "It is inappropriate to completely abandon the SWIFT."
"Payments among residents, individuals and legal entities, and government agencies, as well as electronic documents circulation, e-mails and websites registered in the .az domain, and financial instruments should be localized in Azerbaijan," he added. "That process is simple and should be carried out."
The expert stressed that external operations, of course, already need to be carried out with help of external outsourcing companies.
He noted that about 15 years ago, Azerbaijan Banks Association proposed to create a national payment system.
"The national payment system could have been created even earlier, but then the banks were busy with other matters," said the expert.
He also noted that the point in creation of national payment system is not just about security, but it is also about economic expediency, as a lot of money will remain in the country.
"This is very pressing under conditions of falling currency earnings in the country's banking sector and instability in global economy," he said, adding that the national payment system will help cut banks' costs by several times.
Follow the author on Twitter: @AzadHasanli