Mobile payment systems have been on the rise in recent years. Initially, this began with a number of retail banks, and also payment apps such as PayPal and similar platforms. Increasingly, however, companies and entities that have not previously been involved in e-commerce or banking decide to enter this market. This move is unsurprising. In 2015 alone, the total amount exchanged over mobile payment systems was a staggering $235.4bn worldwide. This is $20bn greater than the entire GDP of Pakistan. The sums wired over these systems have seen companies clamoring to cash in. Apple Pay was launched in 2015, followed by Google Wallet, and even Samsung Pay was created. Could countries now scramble to join the market?
New way to pay
Enter AzerPay, a mobile payment system created solely for Azerbaijan. Using near-field communication (NFC) technology, AzerPay will function like its existing counterparts in the tech world. Not only will users be able to pay in stores, eliminating the need for cash or credit and debit cards, a whole host of e-commerce and banking transactions will be available through the system. Payment of utility bills, money transfers, and even applying for loans and paying taxes are but some of the estimated 160 payment services that AzerPay will accommodate.
AzerPay will be fitted with robust security features. With multiple levels of authentication and identification, such as a pin code and use of the mobile phone number, the user’s financial information will be secure in event of the theft of a device. This is crucial in a country which has recently tried to get to grips with financial crimes, efforts which earned it removal from the inter-governmental Financial Action Task Force’s watch list. With AzerPay launching in February, perhaps other countries will pay attention – and launch mobile payment systems of their own.