ESBG prepares Strategy for National Payments System in Azerbaijan
Following signature of the technical assistance contract at the end of November 2007, Norbert Bielefeld, Deputy Director Payments at ESBG, undertook several missions to Baku in the first half of 2008 to assist the National Bank of Azerbaijan in developing a strategy for the National Payments System (NPS). The objectives of this World Bank funded project were to:
- Analyse the existing architecture of the NPS and its components in the light of advanced international practice;
- Prepare a clear and executable Strategic Plan for the next 5 years (2008 – 2013) for the continuation of payment system reform and an operational plan for its implementation.
The final report, which was submitted in the summer of 2008, contains a set of findings and recommendations, and includes an operational plan with clear time schedules and deliverables, summarised as follows:
- To improve the efficiency of the National Payment System, in particular with respect to the submission of payment instructions to the real time gross settlement system,
- To structure the securities handling and settlement systems – including the implementation of delivery versus payment functionalities,
- To consider the integration of technology provided by non-bank entities in the payments infrastructure,
- To considerably broaden the usage of cashless payment instruments and services,
- To considerably broaden bancarisation (number of bank accounts held by citizens, and balances held on these accounts).