On December 1, 2011, a Law of the Republic of Abkhazia “On the national payment system by electronic means of payment” came into force. This Law became the foundation for the establishment of the National payment system. Ceaseless work and the involvement of qualified specialists from different spheres of the economy has given Abkhazia an opportunity to fully experience the progress of bank information technologies and achieve an international level in the sphere of electronic means of payment. The end of 2012 is characterised by a significant event in the banking system of the Republic of Abkhazia and the state as a whole – the Bank of Abkhazia has created a National payment system (NPS), in accordance with the requirements of international standards in the payment industry.
One of the aims of the establishment of the National payment system is to build in the republic a sovereign infrastructure of electronic means of payment with a wide range of participants. One of the main advantages of this system is the protection of personal data and the funds of cardholders.
In accordance with the requirements of the Law, the Bank of Abkhazia has established a non-profit partnership “Abkhazian payment and settlement association” (APRA), in order to create an intersectoral and independent open forum for the discussion of problems and for reaching consolidated decisions that would develop the state’s payment system.
As part of non-profit partnership “APRA”, common rules for all participants of the NPS of the Republic of Abkhazia have been elaborated and approved, tariffs and fees have been established and rules for entering and participating in the NPS have been defined.
Eight credit institutions have become partners of the non-profit partnership “APRA” and participants of the National payment system:
The partner banks perform the following functions:
With the introduction of the National payment system, residents and guests of the state have acquired a real opportunity to use a modern network of terminal equipment with a wide range of electronic payment services. With the help of bank payment cards, they can receive and deposit cash, check the remaining balance on the card and pay for goods and services (housing and communal services, mobile operators, television, digital wallets and payment systems).
The National payment system uses modern payment and informational technologies, based on international standards for payment systems and strict requirements for data protection and uninterrupted payment process.
In the near future, there are plans to implement projects that would allow credit institutions to introduce internet banking and mobile banking, which would provide bank customers with remote banking services.
The National payment system is an inseparable part of the financial system of the state. The implementation and development of such a large-scale project as the National payment system takes the banking system to a new level of evolution. It also creates many advantages for every individual subject of the republic’s economy, for the state as a whole: reduction of cash handling, expansion of the range of payment services, involvement of non-cash payment transactions of all participants in the economy.
The Bank of Abkhazia