This is the next step in the range of the strategic programs aimed to expand digital payments in the country by the Central Bank and continuation of the successful and impactful cooperation between the Central Bank and Mastercard, such as launch of the multifunctional "Smart Education Card", launch of the contactless payments of public transport fares in pilot cities as well as numerous campaigns which have been organized to encourage the use of cashless payments within the “State Program on Expansion of Digital Payments in the Republic of Azerbaijan in 2018-2020”. While the early stages were on transforming Cash to POS payment now it is a move aiming to start the digital evolution in the whole ecosystem.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Chairman of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan Elman Rustamov and President of Mastercard Europe Mark Barnett marking the highest level commitment to the partnership. There are few countries in the world that Mastercard has signed such a comprehensive agreement.
Digital Country Partnership, which is a continuation of partnership built on the “Cashless Azerbaijan” project, which outlined the roadmap for acceleration of digital payments and blueprints for end to end digitalization of payment ecosystem, aims to expand financial inclusion through applying technological innovations, support the introduction of innovative payment instruments for small and medium enterprises, organize seminars and trainings for various target groups for increasing confidence in cashless payments; continue cooperation in areas such as cyber security and artificial intelligence by exchanging the experience on the latest technological trends. It will help Azerbaijan to become a regional leader in digital economy.
The Central Bank of Azerbaijan successfully continues to play a dominant role in the formation of an extensive digital payment ecosystem and accelerate the introduction of innovative solutions in the country.