The race has started. International payment companies, financial institutes and payment companies have started the race for Iran. Spoilers ahead: Asians are winning.

Before the peak of international sanctions on Iran, the presence of International banks, financial institutes, and payment companies was heating up until a tsunami called “the international sanctions on Iran” crashed their ships and left no survivors. Iran’s banking network got cut off from the outside world and detached from the Swift network preventing cross-country money transactions and wiring in and out of Iran.

The tide has passed. The race has started again and CBI (Central Bank of Iran) has given the green light for foreign banks to book their flights to Tehran. Though the number of banks and financial institutes in action to enter Iran are much lower than the time before the sanctions, still, the interest has caused delegations  coming to the country. Several international banks have started dialogues and negotiations on collaboration in several fields such as electronic banking & cards and payment. (to know more about the state of payment and transaction in Iran check here.)

The door has opened, some are already in 
Banks, credit institutes and payment companies like China’s Union Pay, Japan’s JCB, Turkey’s Iyzico and Paymentwall have already taken steps towards the full establishment in Iran. Unofficial negotiations have taken place with CBI, but there is news about some companies that have initiated their processes to enter Iran such as Visa Card, Mastercard, Union Pay, and Japan’s JCB according to Mehr news. Austria’s Reifeisen bank is also among the first foreign banks to announce its interest to open a branch in Iran.
According to Mehr News Agency, there have been requests from India, Japan, South Korea, China and Kazakhstan to enter Iran’s banking scene. Sout Korea’s Woori bank has opened an office in Iran and Kazakhstan’s national bank has signed an agreement on the same regard.
Internal Concerns

It seems that Iran has it’s arms more open to Asian countries when it comes to banking and Fintech than European countries.

Due to the recent political situations, the Central Bank and also Iranian banks are concerned about their data security when dealing with foreign counterparts. It is anticipated that the process of trust building could slower the processes.

U.S. at the other hand is also giving a hard time to European banks to work with Iran, and that has caused many companies and banks to double think their entry to Iran. This has also caused the Iranians to be more opened to Asian banks as well.

Amercian’s denied and Asians welcomed

Due to the international sanctions still in place from the US side, Visa and MasterCard have been caught off from Iran despite the negotiations they had with Iran as it was announced by the Central Bank of Iran. According to Mehr news, it has been announced that Iran will witness its first bank cards from international Asian banks in Iran in the next 3 months.

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Mahan Hazrati
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i’m totally sure that at least after these financial companies came to iran the people’s finances will be better and will see a lot of good things, right now the banking system is kind of against the people and there is not easy way to get loan from banks, and also i believe it gonna increase the stability of the companies and startups in iran as well. i wished we didn’t have this sanctions then we could distribute these things correctly and sooner before the things get worst. but there is always a good news that can make everybody happy.… Read more »
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