Central Bank of Iran (CBI) has announced that the infrastructure for mobile payment has been developed and from today, the local banks can officially provide this service to their clients.
Iran has been moving toward a cashless economy in the recent years. According to official statements, the debit card penetration in Iran is over 92%. Since the devaluation of Iranian Rial in 2013, people had to carry more cash with them when making in-store purchases. These days Iranians prefer to pay with their debit cards even for their household goods as cheap as a few cents. Now thanks to the new regulations by Central Bank of Iran and the new wave of FinTech startups, Iranians are able to pay with their mobile devices within a few seconds.
During a press conference on May 2nd, Nasser Hakimi, the head of CBI’s IT Department announced that mobile payment has been regulated in Iran and the local banks could offer their solutions to their clients. “With the provided infrastructure and a high security, debit card owners would be able to make their purchases over social media platforms, or smart devices without the need of the card number,” said Hakimi during the press conference. This infrastructure has been implemented with the close cooperation of CBI, Informatics Service Corporation (ISC) and Shaparak payment and settlement network.
To use mobile payment, users have to scan their debit cards and add their information to the bank’s application only once. After that, they can make fast and secure purchases in stores and online. From our observations many Iranian banks have already placed contactless terminals in the stores around the country. According to Hakimi, currently one third of POS (Point of Sale) systems in the country can accept mobile payment. During this statement Hakimi also added that this service is not only limited to smart phones, but also smart watches could be used for payment.
The “Tap and Go” feature is another new payment solution which will soon be introduced to Iranians according to Hakimi. This feature allows users to make in store purchases with their smart devices for bills under 200 thousand Tomans (Around $50 USD) without the need of the PIN code. Hakimi mentioned that this new infrastructure will pave the way for FinTech companies that offer services other than the ones by the banks. Experts believe that the current year would be a golden time for startups working in this sector.
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