According to the ‘Law on the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan’ (then the National Bank) adopted in 1992, one of the main functions of the Central Bank is to create necessary environment to safeguard payment systems stability and conduct financial settlements.
In 1997 the Central Bank stepped on a new qualitative direction for reforms on creation of the best practices based National Payment System (NPS) up to modern requirements and started to elaborate an extended, global strategic plan reflecting the foundation and essence of the reforms in question.
Under the strategy on creation and development of the NPS, on 16 February 2001 the National Bank launched the Real Time Gross Settlement System (AZIPS) based upon the SWIFT – the Worldwide Interbank Telecommunication System within the frames of the World Bank Institutional Building/Technical Assistance Project. The system launch was complemented by development of the normative-legal base to regulate its operations and creation of the Reserve Center furnished with state-of-art technologies to ensure stable and uninterrupted operation of the system.
As follow-up of the NPS development strategy the CBA launched the hi-tech based Low Value Payments Clearing and Settlement System (LVPCSS) up to international standards in 2002.
To support reforms in the utilities sector, further increase the level of collection of utility payments and attract related financial turnover to the banking system the CBA launched the Centralized Information System on Mass Payments (CISMS) on 11 July 2008. This hi-tech and software based system allowed subscribers to obtain full information on utility debts at any payment point (branches, departments, service points of banks and the Azerpost State Entity, ATMs) and make payments by means of any payment facility (cash, payment cards, bank transfers, Internet Banking).
The Government Payment Portal was launched in 2012 to more effectively use the infrastructure capacity of the CISMS, expand cashless settlements between the population and economic agents and boost access to financial services across the country. The portal enabled collection of taxes, duties, rent fees and other budget payments, as well as payments for utilities, communication and other mass services in a centralized manner.
Another logical result of NPS oriented reforms was the commissioning of the Interbank Card Center (ICC) on 1 April 2016 to make transactions with payment cards issued by resident banks more effective.