E-commerce reaches record levels in Azerbaijan

Finance Materials 13 February 2020 16:19 (UTC +04:00)
E-commerce reaches record levels in Azerbaijan

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Feb. 13

By Nargiz Ismayilova - Trend:

Global payments revenue growth significantly exceeded the world economic growth rate by 11 percent in 2017 and by 6 percent in 2018, Executive Director of Azerbaijan’s Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication Vusal Gasimli said at the VISA Cashless Forum on Driving the Future theme, Trend reports.

He added that according to a WorldPay report, by 2022, global e-commerce will exceed $4.6 trillion using 140 online payment systems. Currently, the world uses credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, e-wallets, online banking payments, direct debits, post-payment, cash payment and cryptocurrency as a means of payment. Every 1 percent increase in digital payments in the world can increase consumption to $104 billion.

According to Vusal Gasimli, the "Strategic Roadmap on Development of Telecommunication and Information Technologies in Azerbaijan" and the "State Program on Digital Payment Expansion in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2018-2020" are the main state documents for the development of digital payments in the country.

"Azerbaijan's Center for Economic Reforms Analysis and Communication is currently monitoring and evaluating both documents. The annual volume of non-cash payments can grow to 17 billion manat ($10 bilion) as a result of the implementation of the state program. This will make it possible to increase the share of cashless payments by 7 percent annually. As a result, the share of cash payments in economic transaction, as a whole, will decrease from 74 percent to 40 percent," Gasimli said.

According to the director, last year, Azerbaijan reduced the amount of payments through the system of interbank national settlements, increased clearing and quick money transfers. In general, the number of payment and money transfer operations increased by 40 percent in Azerbaijan in 2019. The number of payment cards increased by 11.2 percent and reached 7.3 million in 2019. Also last year, the number of transactions with debit and credit cards increased by 38 percent, while their monetary value went up by 31 percent. The number of non-cash payment transactions in e-commerce increased by 67 percent in 2019, while their monetary value soared by 97 percent.

"The volume of e-commerce in Azerbaijan reached record levels. It is no accident that Azerbaijan, according to UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) estimates, is a leader among countries from Southern Europe to China in paperless trade and in terms of its simplification," the director said.

"Non-cash payments through ATMs slightly decreased in Azerbaijan in 2019, but as far as POS-terminals are concerned, there was growth of 20 percent. However, the number of ATMs and POS-terminals is growing slowly, even a decrease is observed in the country's regions," he said.

"Recent changes in the Tax Code provide for the introduction of a new generation of cash registers that allow information to be transferred to an electronic information system for the development of digital tax administration. Citizens making cash and non-cash payments in retail trade or in the field of public catering may receive tax benefits in connection with a part of the amount of tax paid, which means stimulating non-cash payments," Gasimli added.

"Export orders of the electronic export leader, Azexport.az portal, have exceeded $1.5 billion over the past three years. Azerbaijan has an instant payment system, student smart cards, contactless bank cards, non-cash transactions in public transport and other types of digital payments," Vusal Gasimli said.


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