Visa Extends CBDC Knowledge Exchange with Azerbaijan’s Central Bank

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A top executive at Visa has disclosed the company’s collaborative effort with the Central Bank of Azerbaijan to share expertise in Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Cristina Doros, Vice President and Regional Manager for Visa in Central Asia and Azerbaijan, spoke with Trend in a recent interview, highlighting an open and productive dialogue between Visa and the central bank. Their discussions revolve around refining modes of interaction and cooperation, all while addressing critical queries that arise during CBDC development.

Doros explained, “In the present landscape, numerous central banks across diverse nations are grappling with pivotal questions—defining the optimal infrastructure and architecture for the solution, its practical utility, and the engagement dynamics with commercial banks, like the CBA. As Visa, we’re enthusiastic about sharing our wealth of experience and are actively fostering a constructive discourse.”

Visa has been forging strategic alliances with several countries’ central banks, collaboratively crafting digital iterations of their currencies. Notably, Visa stood among the select 14 institutions chosen by Brazil’s central bank for its CBDC pilot initiative.

Additionally, early in 2023, a high-ranking executive within the company unveiled Visa’s exploration of blockchain-driven solutions for enhancing its service portfolio. With a focus on propelling the next wave of payment innovations, Visa expressed its belief that CBDCs could significantly shape the payments landscape. Alfred F. Kelly acknowledged the nascent stage of blockchain technology while hinting at Visa’s ongoing “initiatives” in this realm.

The Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) reportedly maintains active collaborations with international intellectual hubs, financial entities, and banking institutions. Its commitment to this endeavour involves keen observation of the evolving role of digital currencies within monetary policy and transmission.

Rashad Gasimov, a specialist from the National Payment Systems Development Division of the Payment Systems and Settlements Department of the CBA, emphasised the importance of learning from Visa’s digital currency proficiency when unveiling the CBA’s digital currency project last year.

The Central Bank of Azerbaijan, guided by insights from global think tanks, financial entities, and fellow banks, remains steadfast in advancing its national digital currency. The institution actively scrutinises the potential impacts of digital currency on monetary policies and transmission mechanisms. Collaborating notably with the International Monetary Fund, the CBA is engaged in a methodical process of shaping the currency concept and conducting meticulous risk assessments.

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