digital banking

Transform your card business: meet OpenWay at the 11th Global Banking Innovation Forum

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Ready to transform your card issuing and merchant acquiring business? 

OpenWay, a top-ranked digital payment software vendor, invites you to visit its stand at the 11th Global Banking Innovation Forum & Expo. Come watch our demos and learn about how WAY4 solutions can kick-start the digitalization of your card business. 

Visit us and get exclusive insights from our experts on:

  • Omni-channel merchant acquiring 

  • New card issuing services

  • Digital wallets 

  • PSD2 compliance

  • Cross-border payments 

 Come to the panel discussion!

  • On April 11 at 11.20am OpenWay will lead the discussion on Technological Disruption & Innovation in Banking among the experts of the European payments industry

We are looking forward to seeing you there!

National Bank of Greece Strengthens Market Leadership with WAY4

  • National Bank of Greece has been awarded for the best Card Management System (CMS) Project at the Bite Awards 2018 held on the 13th of June. During the ceremony the bank has appreciated OpenWay and Accenture companies that helped National Bank of Greece to successfully transform its business on the WAY4 CMS solution.

  • National Bank of Greece, the country’s leading banking institution, has successfully completed the migration of its debit card portfolio to the WAY4 card management system provided by OpenWay, a top-ranked digital payments software provider. Investment in the new platform supports the bank’s vision to enhance its leading position in Greece and further accelerate business growth.    

National Bank of Greece has replaced its legacy mainframe systems with a modern, future-proofed platform from OpenWay. WAY4 will support increasing transaction volumes and accelerate the development of new products and services. WAY4 from OpenWay is an open, all-in-one platform that enables different types of digital payment: card and account issuing, merchant acquiring, transaction switching, omni-channel digital banking, digital wallets and an e-commerce gateway. It offers product and service flexibility, scalability and high performance – which are the crucial requirements for dynamic business growth.

National Bank of Greece will reduce the total cost of ownership of its IT infrastructure by consolidating its card business on a single platform. It will also cut costs by eliminating outsourcing and certain internal operational costs.  More than 4 million debit cards, the majority of which were recently upgraded to contactless, have been migrated to WAY4. National Bank of Greece is now in the process of migrating its credit and prepaid card portfolios and its POS and ATM acquiring business to WAY4; it will also replace its Base24 switch to the payment schemes.

“Delivering an amazing customer service experience is a top priority for us and the centralization of card business on WAY4 enable us to operate more efficiently, react to new market trends quickly, and be more competitive in the open banking environment” - notes Pericles Papaspyropoulos, Sector Head, Cards Division, NBG.

“We are proud to be a strategic partner for National Bank of Greece and support them in the implementation of their ambitious digital payments strategy. Reliance on a technically excellent platform, strong partnership between all involved parties and the commitment to the project from the bank’s top management, brought us to this big success. We would like to thank our partner, OpenWay, for this excellent collaboration” – says George Pallioudis, Accenture Greece Payments Practice Lead.

“WAY4 technology supports end-to-end customer engagement: from seamless digital acquisition to flexible products management via omni-channel to smart data-driven services,” says Sophocles Ioannou, Regional Manager at OpenWay. “We are honored that National Bank of Greece has selected WAY4 as key element of their digital transformation project. We now look forward to further supporting them in delivering innovative services and products to the Greek market,” he adds.

About National Bank of Greece

National Bank of Greece was established in 1841 and was the first bank to be set up in the Modern Greek State, going on to play a key role in the economy of Greece throughout its 176-year history. Today NBG heads one of the largest financial groups in Greece, playing a key role in the efforts to support the Greek economy and the economic and social transformation of the country.

NBG offers a wide range of financial products and services that meet the ever-evolving needs of private and business customers.

The Bank rightly considers itself to be the preferred bank of families in Greece, as it controls 25% of the retail banking market. Its leading position in savings deposits reflects the trust of its customers who in essence comprise NBG's driving force.

With an extensive branch and ATM network comprising over 542 branches and 1,466 ATMs, NBG covers the entire geographical area of Greece, while it has also developed state-of-the-art e-channels, including Mobile and Internet Banking. Today, NBG's international network includes 93 units, while the Group employs some 11,500 employees (as at 31 March 2018).

Mastercard Payment Transaction Services Launches Tokenization on WAY4

Mastercard Payment Transaction Services S.A. (MPTS), a European processor, rolls out a new digital payment solution that leverages Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) tokenization for secure payment card provisioning on mobile devices. The solution allows Mastercard Issuers to easily deploy the latest mobile pay schemes including Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay as well as to enable mobile payments on wearables. The project has been implemented together with OpenWay, a software provider ranked #1 by Gartner in digital payment solutions.

New solution is already used by banks across Europe and allows their cardholders to pay on the go with use of Apple Pay and Android Pay or card issuer’s mobile wallet – both in-store and online. The speed and EMV-level security of these payments are guaranteed by the use of tokens instead of actual PAN. All Mastercard transactions go through the MDES platform, which manages tokens and converts token to card number and vice versa. WAY4, an OpenWay’s card processing platform used by MPTS for card issuing, supports real-time interface to MDES and manages authorization, clearing and settlement for all tokenized transactions.  

“This new solution allows us to be an innovative processor that enables all our clients to follow the latest trends in the world of digital payments. Together with our vendor OpenWay, we provide a very attractive time to market for such services, which is now key success factor for our clients participating in the process of digitalization”, – comments Marek Sagan, Member of Management Board Mastercard Payment Transaction Services S.A

“Interest in tokenization solutions in banking and e-commerce community is driven by immense growth of mobile commerce. OpenWay has completed more than 10 tokenization projects in Europe and Asia, being the first vendor to launch Apple Pay and Samsung Pay together with banks in a few countries. We believe that the project with MPTS is extremely important and timely for European markets because of high mobile phone penetration, well-developed POS terminals infrastructure, and consumers awareness and high expectation of contactless technology”, – says Maria Vinogradova, Director of Strategy and Market Intelligence, OpenWay. 

About Mastercard Payment Transaction Services S.A.

Established in 2008 Mastercard Payment Transaction Services is a European payment processor. Headquartered in Warsaw Poland, with business teams located in Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Madrid and Lisbon. The company provides its customers with end-to-end innovative processing solutions and it has experienced very dynamic growth over the past few years. In addition, Mastercard Payment Transaction Services S.A. supports banks, fintechs and retailers in introducing innovative payment products and is heavily oriented on best practices as well as state-of-the-art technologies of the payment industry. The company is a part of the global Mastercard Processing division with over 2,500 employees supporting customers in 70 countries worldwide.

URALSIB Launches Cloud-Based Digital Banking Platform

BANK URALSIB has presented a new cloud-based digital banking platform based on the WAY4 Digital Banking solution.

BANK URALSIB has presented a new cloud-based digital banking platform based on the WAY4 Digital Banking solution.

BANK URALSIB has presented a new cloud-based digital banking platform. It allows the partner banks to launch full-fledged mobile and Internet banking services within a matter of weeks. The event was held on December 8, 2017.

The bank presented new capabilities of its processing center, showed functional features of the new digital banking cloud platform, share the product roadmap and spoke of global trends in digital banking.

URALSIB Processing Centre is one of two large processing centers in Russia that provide cloud digital banking platform to its partner banks as a white label solution, meaning that a bank can offer all services under its own brand and customize them in line with its corporate style. Solution has an imbedded marketing campaigns management module, chat functionality and integration with the bank’s own payment system CITY+. 

The solution is based on the WAY4 Digital Banking platform developed by OpenWay (the URALSIB’s technological partner on developing the Processing Centre). 

When it comes to a digital banking solution, speed to market and optimal cost of maintenance are the most important requirements. Using the new solution, a bank can get access to the full-fledged digital banking service for its cardholders within weeks at an acceptable price. 

‘Today, convenient mobile banking is an anchor product for client retention. The primary marketing goal for a bank is to be on the smartphone of its customers. The second goal is to become a go-to financial provider, accumulating all its customers’ financial transactions. These goals are fulfilled with broad system functionality, the ability to communicate easily with customers and integrate with loyalty programs and other popular options delivered by the digital banking solution we propose,’ says Igor Demichev, Vice President, Head of Bank Partnership Management, BANK URALSIB. 

‘The digital platform for Internet and Mobile banking from OpenWay has great growth potential, particularly when it is integrated with the accounting systems of a partner bank. Based on the URALSIB Bank’s experience in developing its own digital banking systems, we have chosen the solution vendor, who ensures reliability, quick implementation, small end-cost of ownership and maintenance for a partner bank. I believe that we have fulfilled the task and our banks and their clients will appreciate the product benefits,’ comments Maksim Belousov, Deputy Chairman of Board on IT, BANK URALSIB.

OpenWay Launches Multi-Currency Pricing Solution for Global Acquirers

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OpenWay, a recognised leader in software for bankcard acquiring and issuing, digital banking, omni-channel payments and e-commerce gateways, has launched a multi-currency pricing software solution to help acquirers attract and service international e-commerce merchants.

Globalisation dictates its own pricing rules for businesses. Customers want to purchase globally, and merchants are eager to price locally while avoiding multi-currency reconciliation and multiple overseas acquiring relationships. For an e-commerce gateway provider (acquirer or PSP), offering merchants services that include currency conversion could lead to significant additional revenues. Merchants and PSPs could also benefit through profit-sharing agreements with their acquirers on FX conversion rates etc.

WAY4 Multi-Currency Pricing is an integrated software solution for acquirers which enables their merchants to price goods and services in a variety of foreign currencies while continuing to receive payments in their home currency. It helps to increase merchant sales, reduce cart abandonment and avoid back-office payment administration headaches.

The WAY4 solution allows acquirers to set up unlimited pricing and settlement currency pairings, manage mark-ups for different FX rates, settle with merchants and PSPs in their chosen currencies, and generate detailed merchant reports.

Merchants with high international sales, such as airlines, global e-commerce retailers, marketplaces and those in the hospitality, gambling and online gaming sectors, are attractive prospects for acquirers. However to service these merchants, acquirers need to be able to offer multi-currency capabilities as well as 24/7 availability, card-based and alternative payment methods, and advanced tools for online fraud prevention.

WAY4 Multi-Currency Pricing is already deployed by two leading European acquirers. Together with WAY4 DCC this solution enables an acquirer to gain incremental revenue from merchant transactions while providing a user-friendly service to cardholders worldwide. These solutions are part of the WAY4 Acquiring platform developed by OpenWay. With WAY4, acquires can create comprehensive merchant hierarchies, flexible rules for authorisation and settlement in the preferred currencies, real-time risk monitoring, loyalty, dispute management, and high availability. WAY4 is built to meet the requirements of international businesses, including support of multiple currencies, time zones and languages.

Apple Pay Launched for the Russian Market with Sberbank and MasterCard

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Mastercard® cardholders of Sberbank will be the first to use the innovation

October 4, 2016, Moscow — Sberbank clients, holders of Mastercard® cards, can now use Apple Pay, which will let them make secure and convenient contactless and online payments. 

“Apple Pay is driving the popularization of contactless payments in Russia and globally. Many Sberbank clients actively use new technologies, and an increasing number of them will prefer cash-free and contactless payment using their smartphones,” commented Alexander Torbakhov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank.

Security and privacy are at the core of Apple Pay. The service leverages the safe and secure Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) platform of Mastercard, which uses the most advanced payment technologies – EMV, tokenization, cryptography and biometrics – to ensure the integrity of cardholder information. 

When a client adds a Mastercard credit or debit card to Apple Pay, the card number is not stored on the device or Apple’s servers. Instead, a unique ID is assigned to each device, which is encoded and safely stored on the device’s Secure Element chip. 

“Mastercard is a technology leader and we are committed to bringing innovations to the Russian market and by doing so, we get Russia to the digital future. With the launch of Apple Pay cardholders have a safe, easy and private way to pay for everyday purchases with their favorite devices – when, where and how they want,” said Alexey Malinovskiy, Head of Mastercard Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.

Apple Pay can be easily set up in the Sberbank Online mobile application, which is familiar to all Sberbank cardholders. Users can enjoy contactless payment service while continuing to receive all the benefits from using their credit and debit cards. 

In stores, Apple Pay works with iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and later, the Apple Watch. 

Online shopping in apps and on websites accepting Apple Pay is as simple as the touch of a finger with Touch ID, so there’s no need to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information. When paying for goods and services on the go in apps or Safari, Apple Pay works with iPhone 6 and later, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 and later. You can also use Apple Pay in Safari on any Mac introduced in or after 2012 running macOS Sierra and confirm the payment with iPhone 6 or later or Apple Watch.

Mastercard contactless payments are available in 77 countries with 6 million acceptance points around the world.

For more details about Apple Pay, please visit follow the link.

ABOUT SBERBANK

Sberbank is Russia’s largest bank and a leading global financial institution. Sberbank holds almost one-third of aggregate Russian banking sector assets; it is the key lender to the national economy and the biggest deposit taker in Russia. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation is the founder and principal shareholder of Sberbank owning 50% of the bank’s authorized capital plus one voting share, with the remaining 50% held by domestic and international investors. Sberbank has more than 135 million individual customers and more than 1 million corporate clients in 20 countries. Sberbank has the largest distribution network in Russia with almost 17,000 branches, and its international operations include UK, US, CIS, Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey and other countries.

The bank holds the general banking license No.1481 issued by the Bank of Russia.

ABOUT MASTERCARD

Mastercard (NYSE: MA) is a technology company in the global payments industry. Mastercard operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow Mastercard on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

EPAM and OpenWay Form Partnership to Drive Digital Transformation in Payment Industry

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EPAM Systems (NYSE:EPAM), a leading global provider of product development and software engineering solutions, announced its global strategic partnership with OpenWay Group, an expert in digital payments and developer of the top-ranked WAY4™ platform

WAY4 is a complete omni-channel digital payment and card processing platform, supporting digital wallets, private label and branded card issuing, as well as merchant acquiring, financial switching and channel management. WAY4 serves as a core platform for digital banking solutions, closed-loop or national payment schemes and is deployed by tier-1 banks and payment processors across the globe.

Digital disruption forces market leaders and new players to reconsider their business models and, along with that, customer experience, technologies and partnerships. By leveraging EPAM’s digital enterprise, system integration and legacy system migration expertise and OpenWay’s market-leading payment platform solutions, the partnership will offer clients the benefits of digital finance and cross-industry expertise, excellent product and service offerings, faster time-to-market, and early adoption of innovations within a global scale. 

“The rapid evolution of the payments marketplace is impacting many of our key vertical industries and our clients recognize the need for scalable, flexible and easily integrated solutions that meet customer demands, regulatory changes and emerging competition from new market entrants,” said Arkadiy Dobkin, CEO and President, EPAM Systems. “Combining OpenWay’s leading position in the payment systems market and our deep technology experience across various industries enables us to provide the next generation of complex payment platforms and solutions to our clients.”

“We see EPAM’s dedication to excellence in its agile software development process and proven ability to quickly deploy robust, well-rounded specialist teams from their extensive pool of software engineers and architects” says Andrew Vereninov, CEO, OpenWay Group. “Innovation in the B2B and B2C payment space together with the mobile revolution is blurring the boundaries between industry sectors. We are keen to go beyond the financial sector and leverage EPAM’s expertise in retail and distribution, travel and hospitality, life sciences and healthcare.”

For more information about EPAM, please visit: https://www.epam.com

First Bank's Chat Bot is Launched on WAY4 Messenger Banking

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B1NK, a digital only bank for new generation in Kazakhstan, is now chatting with customers via Telegram.

This is the first bank bot in the region where customers can send money to friends, manage their cards and keep up-to-date on B1NK promotional offers – all via a popular messenger service.

Friendly chat bot B1NK (@b1nkbot) speaks three languages – Kazakh, English, and Russian. It answers user’s questions about ATM and branch locations, currency exchange rates, and even how bots spend their free time. Users can also request a call-back via the @b1nkbot. 

For customers, messenger banking means they have an always-on digital finance assistant. After they sign in, @b1nkbot can show them their transaction history and card balances, help them to block cards, set card transaction limits, and even to make mobile money transfers to friends. To send money, the user simply chooses the contact and specifies the transfer amount — no other information is required. The recipient receives a message confirming the transfer and is asked to choose a convenient way to receive the money (for example, transfer to a card or to a mobile phone account). 

‘Today only a couple of tier-2 banks in Kazakhstan offer mobile banking services. There’s definite potential for growth in this area, because people in Kazakhstan are tech-savvy and ready to embrace technological innovations. B1NK’s aim is to simplify banking, and to make finance management more convenient’, - Gani Uzbekov, CEO, Capital Bank Capital Bank Kazakhstan (B1NK) says.

The service is based on WAY4 Messenger Banking, an innovative white-label solution which facilitates customer service via messenger applications. The solution is developed by OpenWay, a recognised leader in software for bankcard issuing and acquiring, payment switching, digital banking and omni-channel. The solution supports customer service via all popular messengers, including Facebook messenger, Viber, WeChat, Telegram and Line. It can be integrated with any card processing system. 

‘We are happy for our creative partners at B1NK. The bank’s team is always open to discuss new ideas and is not afraid to experiment. The launch of @b1nkbot is a first for both our companies. B1NK is OpenWay’s first client to use the WAY4 platform for a completely digital bank, which focuses on serving customers via online channels only i.e. mobile banking and social networks’, - Dmitry Dovgal, depute business development director, OpenWay, notes. 

Messengers are friendly environments. Banks are beginning to realise the potential of interacting with customers in a new way, in the customer's language, using a familiar chat format. Banks are always available to their customers, irrespective of their location and device. Messenger banking is an automated alternative to more expensive SMS channels and supplements the service from call centres. Additional features, such as p2p money transfer and interactive photo, video and audio content, can also be used to attract new customers. According to statistics, messengers are an extremely popular communication channel for those aged 16-44.

AzeriCard and OpenWay Transformed Mobile Banking into Mobile Wallet

  • AzeriCard and OpenWay's joint project brought a mobile innovation to Azerbaijan.

  • WAY4 Cash By Code On Mobile technology allows for cash withdrawals and transfers on ATMs without a bankcard, using a mobile phone only.

  • This project is part of AzeriCard’s mobile wallet strategy, and was implemented by OpenWay engineers in just 2 months.

  • Cardless cash-out operations are supported by 1300 ATMs all over Azerbaijan.

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AzeriCard, the pioneer of card processing in Azerbaijan, and OpenWay, a recognized leader in software solutions for the payment industry, improved mobile banking service with the WAY4 Cash By Code technology. By generating a code on a cellphone, this technology allows for withdrawing cash on an ATM without a plastic card. This convenient 'mobile wallet' proved appealing to clients of 14 of AzeriCard’s partner banks. The new service also works as instant money transfer to recipients without a bankcard. The Cash By Code option was added to the menu of 1300 ATMs all over Azerbaijan.

The mobile banking with the Cash By Code option was developed by OpenWay. The solution works on iPhone, Android and BlackBerry smartphones, as well as on Java-enabled feature phones. The mobile banking menu allows the user to type in an operation amount and select the preferred card and currency from the list. The amount on the card account gets blocked for the next 24 hours, and the phone displays a generated code. Users can withdraw cash themselves or send the code to another person for money transfer. A valuable advantage of the service is elimination of ATM skimming risks.

If no withdrawal happens within 24 hours, the amount on the card account will be unblocked automatically. The mobile banking user can initiate an earlier unblocking, for example, in case of a lost or compromised code.

Anar Sultanov, the Managing Director of AzeriCard, says: “AzeriCard’s portfolio of card, mobile and web payment technologies has been growing rapidly, based on the solutions and international expertise of our partner OpenWay Group. Implementation of WAY4 Cash By Code On Mobile was a logical and important step towards the multifunctional mobile wallet service. 

This money transfer scheme is not limited to ATMs and has much potential for other self-service channels. Our clients can initiate Cash By Code operations on ATMs, and soon they will be able to do so via Internet banking”.

From January 2013, over 600 new users activate the mobile banking with Cash By Code every month. These are the clients of banks using AzeriCard's processing facilities – International Bank of Azerbaijan, AGBank, Bank Respublika, Bank Technique, Nikoil, Parabank, Turan, Amrahbank, ATA Bank, Silk Way bank, Bank of Azerbaijan, and Xalq bank. 

About Azericard

AzeriCard is the first processing centre in Azerbaijan that has been fully certified by international payment schemes MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. At the moment, AzeriCard processes transactions for 29 banks both in Azerbaijan and abroad. 26 of them are members of international payment schemes. AzeriCard actively implements top-notch high-tech projects, such as fare payment by contactless smart card, phone payments, utility payments, custom fee and tax payments, mobile and Web banking, card-to-card transfers, insurance fee payment via ATM, deposits, various loyalty programmes, multicurrency cards, etc. Today, AzeriCard’s system services about 2,000,000 bank cards, 1,300 ATMs and 6,000 POS terminals.

Innovative Projects of AzeriCard – a Red Carpet Treatment

Anar, please tell us how you came up with the idea of the Cash by Code project, whether it was difficult to implement, and what the essence of this scheme of instant cash transfers is.

At the moment, development of self-service channels has the highest priority for AzeriCard. We actively search for promising ideas, follow the news of the world’s payment industry, take interest in our partners’ experience. I learnt about instant cash transfers using the WAY4 Cash by Code technology at the conference held by OpenWay, the vendor supplying our processing system WAY4. The success of this technology in other regions and the usable and secure transfer scheme inspired AzeriCard to launch our own project.

Thanks to the well-coordinated work of all parties involved, it only took four months to implement this idea. OpenWay’s specialists expeditiously carried out necessary tests and made sure the service was up and running and failure-proof. Diebold, NCR and Wincor Nixdorf installed the updates necessary to support the new functions on our ATMs.
Now, the Cash by Code service is available in the menu folder of the same name in ATMs of AzeriCard’s partner banks. When making a cash transfer from a card, the user specifies the transfer recipient’s mobile phone number. WAY4 generates a special code, splits it into two halves and sends one half to the specified number in a text message. The other half is printed on the ATM receipt so that the sender himself could give it to the recipient.

The recipient joins the two halves and using the code (but no card) withdraws cash in an ATM. The network of AzeriCard’s partners consists of over a thousand terminals throughout the country. This way, one can initiate a transfer or make a withdrawal virtually anytime anywhere.

In addition to being user-friendly, Cash by Code is a very secure service as well. We limit the expiration period of the code to 24 hours. When making a cash withdrawal, one must specify the exact amount and currency of the transfer. The multiple security levels decrease the risk of fraud to a minimum.

What banks participate in the project, how quickly are Cash by Code transfers gaining popularity among end users? Does AzeriCard plan to further develop this service?

For Cash by Code processing, we use our standard scheme of clearing and settlement of cash withdrawals. This is why it is extremely easy for new participants to join this system. All AzeriCard’s partners use their terminals to serve Cash by Code recipients, and this makes 29 banks and about 1,300 ATMs. Initiating transfers is available to customers of 9 banks: International Bank of Azerbaijan, Bank Standard, Bank Respublika, AtaBank, AGBank, PARABANK, Bank Avrasiya, Bank Silk Way, and NIKOIL. It is obvious by now that the clients have appreciated the new service and are actively using it, and the turnover is constantly growing.

The Cash by Code project has immense potential, and we have already planned its further development. First, there is a perspective of geographical expansion. Transfers can only be made within this country at the moment, but International Bank of Azerbaijan is looking into the legal possibility of providing the service in the ATMs of its Moscow branch. In case of a positive answer, it will be possible to make Cash by Code transfers from Moscow to Azerbaijan and vice versa. It is probable that later on we will include other CIS countries in the service.

Second, the service is going to be available on other self-service channels. The top priority for AzeriCard is integrating Cash by Code transfers into our mobile banking system. Combining the two technologies will turn a mobile phone into a “cardless wallet” of sorts. This may be relevant when you need to withdraw cash but do not have a card on you. A client will be able to make a Cash by Code transfer where he is both the sender and the recipient. In less than five minutes, he will be able to withdraw the necessary amount in the nearest ATM.

Taking into account the ubiquitous ever-growing interest in mobile technologies, the idea of a mobile “cardless wallet” has every chance of gaining popularity. If AzeriCard plans to implement other innovations for advanced mobile phone users, we would love to know more.

This year, our mobile banking is starting, so to speak, a new life. Since September, clients have access to a completely new service. AzeriCard has replaced the “applet” mobile banking with the innovative “midlet” option and special applications for smartphones.

The old system, which used a mobile applet, called in for many a criticism. Over the three years it existed, only 900 users had enrolled. Our partner banks complained that clients were put off by the complicated enrolment procedure: first, visiting the mobile operator to replace a SIM card, then, going to the bank to link the phone to a bankcard. Many were not happy about being dependent on a single mobile operator. As we found out, there also comes a moment when the memory of a SIM card no longer suffices for adequate service. All of the above reasons prompted AzeriCard to turn away from the outdated technology. Instead, we have chosen OpenWay’s WAY4 Mobile Banking solution.
AzeriCard’s new system, based on a java midlet, is devoid of the above drawbacks. Clients simply download a mobile application via the Internet (from AzeriCard’s site, or from the site of their bank, or from a smartphone app store) and install it on their mobile phones. The phone is linked to a card using a code that can be obtained in an ATM. As a result, a usable mobile banking menu appears on the phone. And there are no memory limitations, since all data is stored on AzeriCard’s host.

An essential criterion we used to select a new mobile banking system was the support of smartphones. This is the “gadget of choice” for AzeriCard’s most active and technologically advances users: the business sector and users under 30 years old. We are happy that our partner in the project, OpenWay, keeps up with the requirements of the market. WAY4 Mobile Banking already works on iPhone and BlackBerry, and a solution for Android smartphones will be released by the end of the year.

According to the expectations of AzeriCard and its partner banks, how many users will you be able to attract to the new mobile banking channel? What services are now available on the channel?

On the whole, one can say that our end users are quite interested in mobile services. For example, in 2010, when AzeriCard implemented card balance text notifications, 32,000 clients enrolled for the service over the first six months only, and this number is still growing. The growth of the new mobile banking’s client base will probably be slightly less sweeping, since specific technological skills are required to install an application on a phone. We predict that about 20,000 thousand users will enrol during the first year of its existence.

The new mobile banking supports such popular services as viewing the list of cards and their balances, a list of recent transactions, statements, card transfers, Internet and mobile phone payments... The new technology has allowed our system to connect to service providers in real time mode and check each and every transaction detail before the transaction takes place. At the moment, we accept payments to 18 organisations on the mobile banking channel, and the number of recipients is gradually growing.

I would like to emphasize the instant card blocking feature. It is a great tool against card fraud and, consequently, a strong incentive for clients to enrol for mobile banking. The old “applet” system did not allow us to implement this service, since it operated via the SMS channel, which is not a secure way to deliver messages to the host. The new system uses modern and secure communication channels: GPRS, 3G, EDGE, and WiFi. A blocking confirmation is immediately sent to the phone, and the updated status is specified in the list of cards.
The features I have named are already available to users at the moment. Meanwhile, our company has started the next stage of the project. As I mentioned before, we are going to add Cash by Code transfers on the mobile banking channel and implement the mobile cardless wallet. Also, the “OTP calculator” is going to appear in the mobile banking menu. In their phones, users will be able to generate one-time passwords used to access the Web banking system, confirm the most important financial transactions, and make Internet payments under the 3-D Secure security standard. Those who do not use mobile banking with an OTP calculator will be able to receive one-time passwords in text messages.

Depending on how quickly mobile banking spreads, will the contents of the service in other self-service channels change in any way? What other plans does AzeriCard have for years 2011 and 2012?

Our ultimate goal is “unload” the ATM network so that it is only used for cash withdrawal and cash-in, while other services – statements, payments, transfers – are provided through mobile and Web banking and in kiosks. But since cash payments make up such a large percentage of all transactions in our country, clients still consider an ATM the most common “point of interaction” with their bank. This is where we usually start introducing new services to the market and then mirror them on other channels.

We plan to launch VISA Money Transfer by the end of 2011. At the same time, AzeriCard is negotiating the launch of the same service for MasterCard cards. The cash-in service will be taken to a whole new level: it will be possible to top up not only the card entered in the ATM, but any other card issued by our processing centre as well. AzeriCard is also very interested in the sphere of public transport. Our partners and we are now exploring various options for providing people of Baku with a quick and usable way to pay their subway fare.

To conclude, I’d like to remind that the international contest Eurovision 2012 is taking place in Baku next May. From the viewpoint of payment infrastructure, AzeriCard plans to give our guests from around the world and their bankcards a red carpet treatment.

About Azericard

AzeriCard is the first processing centre in Azerbaijan that has been fully certified by international payment schemes MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. At the moment, AzeriCard processes transactions for 29 banks both in Azerbaijan and abroad. 26 of them are members of international payment schemes. AzeriCard actively implements top-notch high-tech projects, such as fare payment by contactless smart card, phone payments, utility payments, custom fee and tax payments, mobile and Web banking, card-to-card transfers, insurance fee payment via ATM, deposits, various loyalty programmes, multicurrency cards, etc. Today, AzeriCard’s system services about 2,000,000 bank cards, 1,300 ATMs and 6,000 POS terminals.