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AZERCREDIT RECEIVED TWO AWARDS AT AMFA AWARD DINNER 2014

EFFECTIVE USE OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND GENDER EQUALITY AWARDS
AZERCREDIT RECEIVED TWO AWARDS AT AMFA AWARD DINNER 2014


VF AzerCredit’s latest achievements were jointly recognized by AMFA and international organizations at this year’s AMFA Award Dinner with the Effective Use of Innovative Technologies and Gender Equality Awards.

The Effective Use of Innovative Technologies Award was conferred by Azerbaijan Micro-finance Association (AMFA) as the recognition of the recent endeavors undertaken by VF AzerCredit to bring innovations to the offered products and provided services.

Taking into account legal requirements and external and internal resources, following the strategic plan of the organization, and more importantly, considering the needs of the voices of its customers, VF AzerCredit has recently introduced several brand-new opportunities for its customers, among which the followings rely on the use of the new technologies available in the market:

  1. Introduction of SMS Notification Service, which today allows customers, on a monthly basis, receive 2-day notification about the next repayment date and from-time-to-time some marketing messages such as information on product developments/improvements, congratulations on special days, etc..
  2. Joining Nationwide Paypoints Network under the brand MIlliON which allows customers making their monthly payments through MilliON terminals installed in a number of places in Baku (in subway stations, shopping centers, etc.), as well as in the regions of Azerbaijan. Altogether around 2000 points are in service presently – most of them receiving payments both in local currency and in USD.
  3. Using new social media technologies to be closer to customers and engage the general public in our activities more vividly is another option pursued by the organization, which found its reflection in the introduction of YouTube Channel of VF AzerCredit with different short videos describing our key lending business, new business lines (such as insurance), and different social activities: www.youtube.com/user/VFAzerCredit

The second high recognition was the Gender Equality Award conferred by The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, and AMFA for VF AzerCredit’s outstanding efforts in promoting gender equality both in terms of clientele and staff.

The Gender Policy is an integral part of the organizational policies, program and projects of VF AzerCredit and involves building a culture that understands the issues and policies which respect diversity and gender-based concerns. This helped VF AzerCredit to win the Gender Equality Award under the criteria:

  1. Increase in number of female staff in the organization (in management and female LOs) and in female clients.
  2. Institutional strategies, plan work -life balance policies and systems for promoting gender equality.

VF AzerCredit employs different tools to attract and keep more and more female staff, including female loan officers. For instance:

a) All vacancy announcements include the statement: “Female candidates are encouraged to apply”.
b) Whenever there is any such opportunity, VF AzerCredit joins different women empowering projects. 2 of such current projects are: Promotion of Gender Equality in the Financial Sector in Azerbaijan by EBRD, Frankfurt School and AMFA, and SDC funded project on Economic Empowerment of Rural Women.
c)The number of female managers is also increasing. Internal female staff are trained and promoted to a manager position, which encourages the other female staff as well.

Various methods are also used to attract female customers – women who are involved in micro businesses but sometimes do not dare to apply for their first loan:

a) Each year in entire month of March a discount campaign is announced for female customers on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
b)  Various projects are undertaken to empower women customers such as the application of GALS tools.
c)  The percentage of female customers in the portfolio of each LO is also monitored through establishing annual targets and evaluating those targets during annual performance appraisal.

More mobile repayment options are sought to make repayment process easier for all customers, but particularly for female customers who in most cases do not have their own transportation means, etc.

January 2014

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