Iran’s local payment system, SHETAB is getting connected to global payment systems through an agreement between Iran’s Informatics Services Corporation and Russia’s BPC.

According to Seyed Aboutaleb Najafi, Managing Director of Iran’s Informatics Services Corporation (ISC), Central Bank of Iran (CBI) had been working on a mission based on its roadmap to provide a banking card switch platform to connect the country’s SHETAB system to global payment networks.

SHETAB is Iran’s local electronic banking clearance and automated payments system. The system was introduced in 2002 by the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) with the intention of creating a uniform backbone for the Iranian banking system to handle ATM, POS and other card-based transactions. Read more about SHETAB from this link.

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According to IRNA news, this mission was initiated with a tender involving nine bidders including France’s Worldline and Russia’s BPC and Openway. After reviewing the bidders’ proposals and ranking them, Russia’s BPC was selected as the winner of the bid. The agreement between Iran and Russia for creating a standard banking card switch platform was finalized and signed on October 11th. Last May, Central Bank of Iran had previously announced that Iranian and Russian citizens would soon be able to use their local cards to withdraw money in both countries.

“In addition to conducting several similar projects in different countries, Russia’s BPC has also signed contracts with several domestic banks to implement its switch platform,” said Najafi to IRNA news. Russia’s BPC Group was established in 1995 and currently provides business solutions for banking technologies, power systems and chemical technologies.

Tehran and Moscow have strengthened their trade ties in the recent years. Last May during the visit of Iranian officials in Moscow, the two countries disused collaborations in various spheres including e-commerce and software development. According to Mehdi Sanaei, Iran’s Ambassador to Russia, the two countries had the biggest growth of trade relations last year, and expect it to reach to $10 billion in the next two or three years.

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Mark
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… So that means that we’re able to use ATMs in Iran with our bank cards as well? That would be really good news for all kinds of trade & tourism!