AZERBAIJAN - Finance
Chairman of the Executive Board, Bank Technique
Between 2000 and 2007, Ulvi Mansurov gained Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Accountancy and Auditing from Azerbaijan State Economic University. In 2013, he earned his PhD in Economics. In May 2012, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Bank Technique. Previously, he had held numerous positions in the banking sector, including as Deputy Director of the Finance Department at the International Bank of Azerbaijan. Currently, he is studying for his MBA at Warwick Business School.
A high level of NPLs partially explains the bank’s previously low credit rating in the 2012-2013 period. However, following intensive and fruitful work during that period, we managed to achieve a significant upgrade from rating agency Fitch in December 2013. Along with the development of retail and corporate banking segments, we want Bank Technique to be active on the financial markets as well. We are in the process of establishing a strong relationship with global financial institutions in the context of our interest in developing treasury and interbank operations. A higher rating will provide the opportunity to establish better and closer cooperation with international financial institutions. From now on, we are going to be more concentrated on trade finance and forex operations. At the same time, we are considering the issuing of the bonds as the next stage of our strategic plan. We are set to participate in various large-scale projects of our customers by financing them. Large projects require substantial funds, which is, again, why sound ratings are so crucial to making sure our customers enjoy uninterrupted financing. Meanwhile, we will continue to improve our figures, which will ultimately benefit us on the financial markets. And since we are considering the issuance of corporate bonds at later stages, the role of credit ratings becomes all the more essential to our operations.
There are several initiatives being realized, and currently we are moving forward on the opening of e-branches, which will complement our e-banking lines, and will be installing ATMs with access to the e-banking system. At the same time, we are looking into specific equipment for transactions that do not involve ATMs. We ultimately want to enable our customers to execute all of their transactions through the e-banking system, although we understand that changing people’s habits and increasing the popularity of e-banking requires time. At the same time, we are about to issue a special display card that will act as a payment card with an embedded chip and identification tool. The card will be enhanced by display and will generate one-time passwords. These passwords are required for customer identification in our online banking systems Technique Online (desktop) and Technique Mobile (smartphones and tablets). This innovative card—a MasterCard Gold—will enable us to provide our customers greater security and comfort, and is the first display card in Azerbaijan. Furthermore, the card will provide additional security when shopping online. Apart from CVC, customers are provided 3D security through MasterCard. Usually, with similar products, the code is static, yet our product has the advantage of being dynamic. We plan to use this card as identification at our e-branches, as well, while the same will apply for our call center. The operator will ask whether you are an e-banking customer, and if yes, a one-time code will be requested. During 2013, we gave much time to the implementation of our new online banking system, which we scheduled for launch in the spring. Our objective was to make as many transactions as possible available on one platform. As a result, we succeeded in building an online banking system with the largest functionality and most innovative features. We expect our customers to respond positively to the system, which enables almost all non-cash banking transactions.
© The Business Year – May 2014
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