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Development of financial services in post

 

The Republic of Azerbaijan and the International Development Association signed an Agreement “On Development Credit” (Financial Services Development Project (FSDP) on May 24, 2005.

 

The project, approved by the order № 973 of 25th August 2005, of the President of Azerbaijan, first of all, envisages developing financial services in the country by using the existing platform of postal operator Azerpocht LLC, providing free access of population to banking financial services in rural and regional centers, and offering customers a wide range of services through 1200 post offices.

 

The implementation of the project was launched on October 14, 2005, its financing is provided by the World Bank, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies (MCIT) and the Swiss organization SECO.

 

Within the framework of the project a new accounting plan was prepared with the technical assistance of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan Republic for Azerpocht LLC and approved by the Ministry of Finance.

 

The advisers from Dutch company FACP rendered assistance for the implementation of institutional building in Azerpocht LLC, provided consulting services on various modules.

 

At the same time, advisers of FACP company prepared market-oriented new structure of Azerpocht LLC and by carrying out reforms in post  branches and post offices of Azerpocht LLC, the structure of Azerpocht LLC was brought in conformity with the structure of organizations providing banking official services,

 

In order to improve the legal framework, the Milli Mejlis (Parliament) adopted amendments to the Law “On Postal Communication” of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 2 October 2008, and was approved by Presidential Decree № 17 of November 11, 2008.

 

Purchase of the Automated Corporate Information System (ACIS) of Azerpost LLC and installation of system, which is one of the most important components of the project, was successfully completed. Main department of Azerpost LLC was fully automated at the first stage, then post branches and post offices located in Baku and regions were automated.

 

Azerpocht LLC has also joined the national payment systems CBA AZIPS, SPSCS (Small payment settlements and clearing system) and international payment system SWIFT in order to provide new financial services. Besides that, correspondent accounts in foreign currency were opened in Citibank (U.S.), Raiffeisenbank (Austria) and Sberbank (Russia), on which international banking operations are carried out.

 

Several departments of Azerpocht LLC have joined the international money transfer systems like Western Union, Contact, Caspian Money Transfer and put into commission. Azerpocht LLC signed an agreement on cooperation with the processing center MilliKart LLC on June 15, 2010 to issue plastic cards and enter this market, and thus, the issuance of plastic cards both local and logo MasterCard was launched.

 

According to the agreement signed between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the International Development Association, the FSDP was completed on June 30, 2010, and post offices, joined the ACIS, started providing banking and financial services.

 

Generally, connection of about 803 postal branches and 37 postal agencies to the central server was provided in a real time regime through various connection types. As well as 50 post offices were connected by means of “3G” technology of Azercell LLC.  It should be noted that necessary technical measures are being taken for the purpose of connecting the other postal departments of Azercell LLC to the central server.

 

As is known, according to the requirements of the 2nd  module of project “Modernization of Financial Sector of State Secretary for Economic Issues for the Republic of Azerbaijan: Switzerland” between the Republic of Azerbaijan and International Bank of Reconstruction and Development by the order # 302 of  the Cabinet of Ministers dated 14.11.2012, a grant in the amount of 550,000 (five hundred fifty thousands) USD was allocated in order to provide training for employees of Azercell LLC, formulate their new image and conduct audit work for 2011-2012 years. 

 

Tenders were held for each 3 components at the account of grants and corresponding agreements signed with GUYDYON, local companies ABTC and KPMG of the Netherlands. So, audit process of 2011-2012 years was already completed. In connection with image reinstallation, it should be noted that advisors visited Shirvan city, which was selected as a pilot region, and some reports and design of new image of the branch were drawn. 

 

Some work has already been started regarding component of trainings for employees of LLC, and according to the project, it was considered to provide trainings for 2500 (two thousands and five hundred) employees till March of 2015. 

 

Getting authorizations for implementation of financial services was continued in 2013 and authorizations were obtained from the National Bank for implementation of financial services by additional 9 post offices. Total number of authorizations obtained for Azercell LLC has reached 1015. 

 

About 10000 salary cards with “Maestro” “Master Card” logo were put into operation and submitted to the clients by the end of 2013. 

 

Currently, the services are being provided to the clients through 109 POS terminals and 15 ATMs.

 

As a result of the work done, all necessary conditions were created for Azerpocht to provide the population with quality postal and financial services through Azerpocht network which covers the entire territory of the country.