Economy, Business And Markets

Smart Banking Making a Difference

Smart Banking Making a Difference Smart Banking Making a Difference

Managing a smart city requires a database of citizens’ personal and social behavior, said the deputy for sales and marketing of Informatics Services Company.

Speaking at a conference ‘E-banking: A Necessity for Developing Smart Cities’, Farhad Faez said a “smart city” is built on the basis of information about the quality of life, the company’s website quoted him as saying.

He believes Iran needs a robust institution to conduct comprehensive studies on the behavior of the people on a wide-range of issues, for instance like the snarling traffic in most major cities, especially in Tehran.

“Taking a look at the overcrowded streets, one might ask why people (in such large numbers) travel around the city and what are the social and economic costs of these travels are.”

Citizens are using more smart tools; however, many user-friendly applications are available and the people should be informed on how they can rely on the electronic gadgets for their daily tasks.

“The ‘SHAPARAK’ payment and settlement network, recording almost 35 million transactions every day, plays a key role in the people’s’ personal finance,” he said.

Faez referred to a recent seminar on digital banking where German and Austrian experts had said Iran in on the road to e-banking development.

 Debit and Credit-Based Banking

Nima Amirshekari, director of e-banking group at the Monetary and Banking Research Institute, a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Iran, also believes that the debit-based instead of credit-based banking in Iran is the major difference between Iranian and international banking system.

“Smart banking in a smart city requires a credit-based system where individuals get credit according to their behavior,” he said.

He noted that banks around the world issue ‘credit cards’ while in Iran they function merely as ‘debit’ or ‘prepaid’ cards. “This means a huge difference in total payment transaction and the cash flow.”

Electronic banking in Iran goes back to 1972 when the first ATM was introduced. The trend continued until 1991 when the CBI decided to launch the Comprehensive Plan for Automated Banking in Bank Melli in cooperation with the Informatics Services Company.

The interbank information transfer network, SHETAB, launched in 2002, is a key player in the electronic transactions network in Iran. By 2010 almost all Iranian banks were linked to the SHETAB.

The total number of cards issued by banks reached a massive 128.4 million in 2011, debit cards accounted for 72.8% and credit cards merely 1.1%.

Total population at the time was put at 73 million. The CBI later expanded electronic banking by introducing the nationwide standard bank account number, SHEBA, and electronic payment and settlement system SHAPARAK.