Expert panel discusses slow e-commerce development in Armenia

Ameriabank organized a panel discussion in April 2017 with telecommunication and bank sector experts to discuss the slow development of e-commerce in Armenia. Arman Barseghyan, head of retail banking at Ameriabank, noted that three key factors are impeding e-commerce development in the country:

  • problems associated with the quality and reliability of internet connections in Armenia
  • a lack of bank cards and services in the population
  • problems related to social issues, particularly the standard of living in Armenia

Hayk Karapetyan, commercial director at ZAO ArmenTel, noted that the quality and availability of internet connections are much lower in Russia and Belarus and yet the e-commerce there is better positioned. Therefore, the main reason for the underdevelopment of e-commerce in Armenia is the low distribution of cards in the country. Whereas in Russia, there is an average of 4 credit cards issued per person, there is only 1 card per person in Armenia. Mr. Karapetyan then went on to propose the creation of a simple system that would allow for a maximum number of websites to implement simplified online payment systems. Additionally, he believes that it is important for legislative amendments to be passed which require organizations providing paid services to the public to accept payments only through bank cards, as is practiced in Russia and Georgia.

For his part, Aram Barseghyan, commercial director at UCom, added that Armenian banks should take serious steps for the development of e-commerce, including stimulating the use of credit cards by the population through discounts and other various promotions.