Since a year ago a few of the local Iranian banks started to offer credit cards to the employees of some of the private and government institutions as a pilot program. Now after the pilot phase, it’s been said that credit cards are about to be offered to the public.
ISNA reported that CBI (Central Bank of Iran) seems to be pushing the local banks to faster build the infrastructure for extensive use of local debit cards. About a year ago the talks about the local credit cards started to circle around as an initiative from Iran’s Central Bank to put a break to the country’s recession. For the pilot phase, banks offered credit cards only to the employees of a few organizations. The cards were also limited for the purchase of Iranian goods with an interest rate of 12% and a maximum credit line of 10 million Tomans (around 3 thousand dollars). Many experts believe that the initiative was not a success since there were no specific plans from the Central Bank of Iran with its policies and strategies.
About two months ago, Mir Mohammad Sadeghi, Credit Deputy at the Central Bank, announced that they are planning to issue local credit cards with a credit line between 10 to 30 million Tomans (around 9 thousand dollars) with an interest rate of 18% to the public. Although the initiative has not yet been finalized by CBI and there are yet no new verified details.
Many third-party companies have taken the opportunity and have helped Iranians to get access to international credit cards from the neighboring countries. A few months ago CBI announced that Japan’s JCB and China’s UnionPay will collaborate with the Central Bank to issue international payment cards for Iranians. The cards are not yet available to the users, but many Iranians are optimistic about this partnership since it would greatly impact cross-country payment. For more information about Iran’s state of online payment and transactions visit this link.