FinTech might be the next boom after E-commerce in Iran. But with the recent changes and enforcing the outdated laws and regulations, FinTech might encounter serious troubles in Iran.
E-commerce in Iran is up and running even though it has its own problems with various entities. In a nutshell, laws and regulations allow the Ecommerce to function but it’s not perfect. But when we look at the FinTech, the situation gets harder with laws and banking system regulations. It was in May that a few of Online Payment Gateways got censored by the government because of Violating the regulation. Some of these merchants were selling services or products that were against the law such as VPN for bypassing the censorship. Few months have been passed and now a few startups that were working in FinTech sector got censored or even removed from SHAPARAK payment system(an electronic card payment and settlement system). It’s not known yet why some of the startups got censored and some of them were removed from SHAPARAK payment system.
PayPing which is Iran’s first online P2P money transferring platform was one of the startups that got removed from the SHAPARAK system. The reason behind this removal is that FinTech startups can’t get the eNamad certificate (which is required if your business wants to provide an online payment method for the costumers) and therefore Online Payment Gateways can’t grant them access because there is no regulation for FinTech startups for getting an eNamad certificate. What happened is that SHAPARAK sent an official letter to some of the Online Payment Gateways to remove a few of these startups’ access. It’s not yet known that what’s going to happen to the Iran’s FinTech startups but with SHAPARAK’s new plans for the next five years, we guess there should be a solution on the way for these startups. And as Rouhani’s government grants more support to the startups in the country, there should be more than a temporary solution to this problem.
Maybe SHAPARAK, eNamad or other entities could have brought in a temporary solution regarding the regulation for the startups to be able to work while they were preparing the permanent solution. Even now we hope that the government brings a temporary solution for these startups to minimize the damage that they are causing to these startups.
Interesting article Reza! You rightly pointed to a likely issue in the future. It is usually the case that regulations are behind start-ups and this can cause problems. In the case of FinTech start-ups, the article, does not mention what kinds of regulations exactly may hinder the growth of FinTech start-ups. Is it mainly regulations related to the security of transactions? I think a more thorough investigation adds value to this topic.
Curious to hear what you or others think.