E-Commerce Development

04 December 2017

The years of 2015-2016 were a severe shaking for the financial sector of the country. The sharp volatility of exchange rates, the crisis of confidence of citizens, the rise in non-performing loans, the deposit outflow, the bankruptcy of banks – all this became an obvious reality. The market revealed strong and weak players.

To date, Bank Silk Way, despite the above-mentioned problems, has proved to be one of the top 10 most reliable banks in the country. In terms of loan portfolio, the Bank is also one of the largest. Thanks to the correct risk management and a strong development strategy focused primarily on qualitative rather than quantitative portfolio growth, it succeeded to maintain and strengthen the share in the market.

Among other issues, today Bank Silk Way actively diversifies its portfolio of services in the direction of retail as part of its strategy, offering interesting and relevant solutions to citizens.

On the latest trends of Bank Silk Way, we talked with Mr. Elchin Ahmedov, the Chairman of the Bank’s Supervisory Board.

- Bank Silk Way has proved itself to be resistant to the shocks in the financial sector of Azerbaijan. What is the reason and what measures are you taking to achieve this?

– First and foremost, I would like to mention that, the main goal of the risk management of the Bank is to minimize risks. The name of our bank’s services makes it clear that we are closely connected with the aviation transportation industry. It is the airlines that are our main customers, the main share of revenues from accrued interest on loans and commissions for services falls on them.

As you can see, the Bank is mainly focused on corporate client. However, with the release of Miles cards, this benchmark is gradually shifting towards the retail client.

– Please tell, how did you manage to avoid problems with the loan portfolio? What are your strategic targets for lending for the next year?

 

– An appropriately built policy regarding the loan portfolio has become the reason for avoiding such problems.

We have always adhered to the position of healthy capitalization. We never chased the fabulous figures. For us, it is more important that interest income be converted into real cash receipts. Therefore, for a long time we tried to secure our loan portfolio, cooperating mainly with reliable corporate clients. In addition, the causes of bankruptcy of some banks in the market were partly due to a deliberate increase in interest income, which in no way actually increased their real money. This soap bubble would burst, at some point.  

Our strategic goals for the coming year are now not only to increase the loan portfolio for corporate clients, but also to increase the share of retail services by several times. Thus, we are gradually increasing our assets in retail banking: this is partly due to the popularization among the population of Miles cards, which have no analogues in our country.

How did you succeed to popularize the Miles cards? Tell us, which campaigns do you carry out by these cards?

 

–For the first half of 2017, the clients of our Bank ordered about 4,300 Miles cards, more than 600 of them are Visa Platinum Miles cards.

Unlike the traditional debit cards, the Miles-cards, by their nature, reduce cash and increase non-cash turnover of clients’ funds, since bonuses are accrued only for non-cash payments from these cards. These cards can be used all over the world, where Visa and MasterCard payment systems are available, as well as on the Internet. While buying tickets for AZAL flights with the card, you are accrued miles - both for the flight, and for using the card when buying a ticket, as well as cost-free upgrading of the class of service from the Economy to the Business. You can also use the card in stores for any, even small purchases without additional commissions. For each purchase, miles are accrued automatically when calculating in any currency of the world. Taking into account all these aspects, it should be noted that the product gives impetus to the development of non-cash payments, which positively affects the development of the country’s economy. The joint payment card combines the advantages of a bank card and the privileges of the AZAL Miles program’s participant.

We actively carry out various activities and campaigns that provide particulat benefits and discounts to our customers. Last summer, we organized an event, during which a client who put money on his account in the amount of 10-15 thousand manats, dollars or euros respectively, received as gift the MasterCard Gold Miles, Visa Gold Miles and Visa Platinum Miles cards.

From October 10, 2016 to April 1, 2017, Bank Silk Way in cooperation with MasterCard implemented a new “MasterCard Miles 1 + 1” campaign. Under the terms of the campaign, holders of MasterCard Gold and MasterCard Standard received a second card as a gift. The gift card was issued, at the request of the client, either on him/her or on relatives. The card was provided with free service for 2-3 years (in any currency: AZN, USD or EUR). During the campaign, gift points were awarded in double size: MC Standard Miles - 200 points, MC Gold Miles - 400 points.

From May 15, 2017 to August 15, 2017, Bank Silk Way in cooperation with Visa International conducted a campaign, during which customers who purchased Visa Classic Miles, Visa Gold Miles and Visa Platinum Miles cards, received a second card as a gift. The customers were given the opportunity to register the card in their name or in the name of any other person. The gift card (issued in two currencies: in AZN or US dollars) was served cost-free for 2 or 3 years. By becoming the owner of the Visa Miles card, the customers receive the following privileges: 100-300 points for the first use, a discount card of SW Club, a discount card of Duty Free, insurance certificate for the Schengen Area and courier delivery of the card.

Moreover, our clients have the opportunity to order cards online through our bank’s website www.banksilkway.az.

– What other campaigns does Bank Silk Way run for attracting and convenience of retail customers?

– On July 26, 2017, Bank Silk Way OJSC congratulated the client who received a 30 000th bank card. The client received the cost-free Visa Gold Miles card ordered by her, and various gifts were presented by the bank. The winner was Mrs. Aygun Abbasova Fahrad, an employee of “Azerconnect”.  

Since July 2017, Bank Silk Way has launched a new financial service for VAT refunds for purchases in Europe – the TaxFree4U service. Now, the owners of Bank Silk Way cards can return a VAT of up to 19% in the shortest time, without wasting time on filling out declarations and on queues before departure. In addition, cardholders of Bank Silk Way, who will enter the promo code ‘swbank’ while installing the TaxFree4U application, will receive 5 euros for the first VAT refund.

In March 2017, Bank Silk Way commissioned the Electronic Department, which was established to provide convenience to customers, located in Abdurrahim bey Hagverdiyev Street, 74A, Yasamal District, Baku, Azerbaijan (near Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts).

In the Electronic Department, which operates 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, customers can use Cash-in ATMs and automatic currency exchange terminals. In the Department, it is possible to carry out transactions on depositing funds in card (Cash-in) and withdrawing cash. The Cash-in transaction allows you to load a maximum of 50 banknotes per card at a time. In the automatic currency exchange terminals, the currency in AZN and dollars is accepted, and it is possible to get banknotes in AZN and dollar currency in exchange. Payment terminals are also installed at the above address. Through the payment terminals, it is possible to make payments for loans and utilities.

Note that, in future, similar departments will be opened and put into operation in the center of the City, which will operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Bank Silk Way is the sole agent of the tax authorities in our country, which refund customers funds on a tax-free basis when leaving the country. Taking into account the experience of our bank, the Ministry of Taxes invited us to serve two Baku shopping festivals (in March and October-November) during the year 2017. Through our bank, interests were successfully returned to buyers participating in these festivals.

In connection with the new legislative requirements for non-cash settlements, our bank installed electronic cash registers in a number of largest travel agencies to encourage and simplify non-cash settlements while retail customers buy tour packages.

We also plan to launch a new national payment system SW PAY by the end of the year, the main advantage of which will be the opportunity to use it in the format of a mobile application and anywhere in the world.

Now, efforts are underway to modernize electronic applications for Internet banking and mobile banking.

– What is the discount card SW Club?

– All users of Miles cards receive a discount card SW Club. The discount card SW Club comprises 50 largest hotels, 49 elite restaurants, 43 brand shops and about 20 health centers in our country, where you can get discounts ranging from 5% to 30% with it. And this list will only grow.

– And at the end of our conversation, I would like to know what other innovations from the Bank SW should be expected by retail customers in the coming year?

– From December 1, 2017 through March 1, 2018, there will be a discount campaign, which to provide a discount of 35% on the purchase of Visa Gold Miles and Visa platinum Miles.

Also from the beginning of 2018, it is planned to issue a premium class cards MasterCard Black Edition Miles. Accordingly, its owner will have more advantages compared to the owners of the above-mentioned cards:

• at the first use of the card, the client will receive an additional 500 miles;

• the possibility of free access to the MasterCard Lounge, owned by MasterCard and operating in the airports of the capitals and major cities of most countries;

• LoungeKey - service of access to the first class and VIP rooms of more than 600 international airports;

• MC Concierge is a personal assistant service that allows the card holder, while abroad, to seek help in the 365/24/7 mode, hotel reservation, entrance to closed parties and clubs, creative evenings and film premieres, fashion boutiques and many other possibilities etc.;

• Travel Assistance service – detailed information about the country to which they are traveling, visa and other legal support, information on exchange rates, assistance in finding and recovering lost baggage and other services;

• receive as gift discount cards Duty free and SW Club;

• annual insurance policy for individuals travelling abroad (Schengen zone).

 

 

 

 

 

Hörmətli istifadəçi

Azərbaycan Respublikasında fiziki şəxslərin problemli kreditlərinin həlli ilə bağlı əlavə tədbirlər haqqında Azərbaycan Respublikası Prezidentinin Fərmanına uyğun olaraq, fiziki şəxslərin xarici valyutada əsas kredit borclarının devalvasiya ilə bağlı manatla artmış hissəsi ilə əlaqədar Maliyyə Bazarlarına Nəzarət Palatası tərəfindən hazırlanmış güzəşt kalkulyatoru

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