Did you know that there are 415M bank cards in Iran? This number is high above the average annual issued bank cards per person in the world.


Iran is one of those countries which doesn’t have a credit system yet, basically, there are no credit cards in the country. However, the Central Bank of Iran has tried to implement the credit system many times but it wasn’t successful. One of the main reasons behind the unsuccessful attempts is the micro loans that banks provide, which is more profitable for them. You might ask what is the more efficient way for Iranians to make online purchases or in-store payments? The answer is the bank cards or more accurately debit cards. With a debit card issued by one of the banks in Iran, people can make their purchases online or at the point of sale. Basically, every shop in the country has a point of sale terminal, so people wouldn’t have to worry about carrying cash with them all the time.


415M Bank Cards

Visa and MasterCard dominate the debit card field in the world. There were 471 million Visa debit cards in the U.S. and 1.09 billion in the rest of the world at the end of March 2015. The population of Iran is nearly 80M so the 415M issued bank cards in Iran seem excessive. The reasons behind this number might be the lack awareness about the functionality of these bank cards and different services offered by each banks. According to the latest statistics released by the Central Bank of Iran, on the second month (Ordibehesht) of the last Persian year, there were 338M issued bank cards. This number increased to 356M and 393M on the 6th (Mehr) and 8th (Aban) months of the last Persian year, respectively. And finally, in the last month (Esfand) of the last Persian year, this number reached to 415M bank cards.


More Than 42K Active ATMs

Now that we have talked about the bank cards, you might be wondering about the ATMs (Automated Teller Machine) as well. On the second month (Ordibehesht) of the last Persian year, there were 40K active ATMs in the country; this number increased to 42K on the 6th month (Aban) of the last Persian year. On average each ATM machine in the country had an annual transaction of 10K. In the last Persian year, annual transaction value for each ATM machine varied from 2.7 to 3.3 billion Tomans (nearly $730K to $890K).


If you are Interested in the topics of banking and payment services you can head to these articles for more information:

SHETAB the System Behind Card-Based Transactions in Iran

SHAPARAK the Backbone of Card-Based Payment in Iran

Iran and the Question of International Payment Networks

Mobile Payment Is Now Officially Available in Iran

Iran Banking System in a Nutshell

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