Economy, Business And Markets

E-Banking Set for Growth

E-Banking Set for Growth E-Banking Set for Growth

Promoting e-banking requires modifications in the structure of the regulatory body to bring the sector in line with the country’s technological capability, Ali Kermanshah, Central Bank of Iran deputy chief for innovative technology, said on Monday.

Addressing the Fifth Annual Conference on E-Banking and Payment Systems in Tehran, he said Iran’s e-banking industry is capable of developing efficient e-banking systems and infrastructure including software, hardware and networks,” the bank’s website quoted him as saying.

“The industry needs improvement in non-technological domains like setting better policies, easing organizational procedures, offering better incentives and fostering healthy competition,” he said. “The industry should also focus on customer needs and satisfaction.”

Pointing to the sizeable presence of ‘non-bank’ e-payment companies in the sector Kermanshah said, “Policies should focus on revising mechanisms in the market to clarify each participant’s role, based on a win-win model.”

“At the present juncture the technological and administrative wings of the industry are incompatible,” and this has created a paradox.”

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

Total number of cards issued by banks reached a massive 128.4 million in 2011 with debit cards accounting for 72.8% and credit cards a paltry 1.1%.

 Big Data

Aboutaleb Najafi, chief executive of Informatics Services Corporation, also called for increasing investment in banks’ IT sectors to help stimulate competition in the market.

“The banking network conducts about 200 million transactions each day, 90% of which are done electronically,” he said, adding that “about 30-35 million people use e-banking services across the country.”

Pointing to the anticipated return of international bank cards (like MasterCard and Visa) to the Iranian market after the lifting of the sanctions, Najafi emphasized the necessity of a revision in the management of e-payment industry.

He criticized the country’s senior managers for neglecting the importance of ‘data’ as an asset and for failing to utilize cutting-edge technology like  ‘cloud computing systems’ which are available inside the country.

Cloud computing as an internet-based computing method provides resource, data and information to computers and other devices on-demand. It is a model for enabling ubiquitous, on-demand access to a shared pool of data.

 Babak Teymour Pour, a university lecturer, also called for a closer cooperation between the banking system and academia, to take advantage of their research in a competitive market.  

“Data analysis is a major challenge for the e-banking industry. Market data could help banks identify problems and get familiar with trends in the market,” he said.

Academics are able and willing to provide the banking industry the latest ‘data analysis applications’, he added.