Banking on Better Solutions for Remittance Senders and Receivers in Azerbaijan

Banking on Better Solutions for Remittance Senders and Receivers in Azerbaijan

Studies have demonstrated that every additional one per cent increase in immigration can boost GDP growth in destination countries by two per cent. As Azerbaijan’s economic growth continues the role of migrants will continue to grow – just as Azerbaijani emigrants contribute to economic development across the world.

An estimated one million Azerbaijani nationals live abroad, and 100,000 migrants reside in Azerbaijan, all of whom use various financial services, including sending and receiving financial remittances.

Even though an assessment, conducted in 2023, concluded that remittance cost in Azerbaijan is already below the Sustainable Development Goals target of three per cent, and financial inclusion of migrants in the country is high, still there is a room for improvement in terms of better addressing migrants’ financial needs.

IOM has instigated training for six major banks in Azerbaijan (AFB Bank, Xalq Bank, Rabitabank, ABB, Kapital Bank and Bank Respublika) and Azerpost (national postal service) to establish customer service that addresses the specific needs of migrants and persons in vulnerable situations.

Last month IOM Azerbaijan organized a series of capacity-building trainings for over 50 customer service specialists representing bank branches and post offices that serve migrants the most, implemented in cooperation with the State Migration Service and with funding from the IOM Development Fund.

The event was opened by Amr Taha, IOM Chief of Mission a.i. in Azerbaijan and Mr. Vahid Gahramanov, Chief of Head Department of the State Migration Service. It focused on rights of migrants – including refugees and asylum seeker, their access to financial services with the different identification cards provided to foreign residents in Azerbaijan, and digital authentication of documents.

IOM Azerbaijan is organizing another Workshop on Remittances to increase capacity of officials of migration services and central banks in addressing migrants’ financial needs. The event will take place on 8-10 July 2024 in Baku, jointly with the State Migration Service, and with IOM Development Fund, at the Regional Training Centre on Migration (RTCM), targeting for 10 countries, namely Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

This will be achieved via theoretical sessions on remittances, sharing experiences from Azerbaijan and other countries, and field visit to show best practices in terms of customer service to migrants by government and banks.

“The value of this training is that it is a two-way learning between the private sector and the government, which aligns with the whole-of-society approach principle of Global Compact for Migration calling for broad multi-stakeholder partnerships to address migration in all its dimensions”, noted IOM’s Amr Taha.

This training supports SDG 10 on Reduced Inequalities and GCM objective 20 to promote faster, safer and cheaper transfer of remittances and foster financial inclusion of migrants

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth