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High Growth in Iran's Payment Tools

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More than 5.55 million POS devices were active in Iran by October 21, indicating a significant growth of 35% compared with the previous year’s 4.04 million
High Growth in Iran's Payment ToolsHigh Growth in Iran's Payment Tools

Shaparak, Iran’s domestic payment network, hosted more than 1 billion transactions worth 1.104 quadrillion rials ($28.1 billion at the open market rate) during the month ending October 21. 

The figures indicate a 20.3% and 28.6% growth in terms of transactions and their value respectively, compared with the corresponding month of last year. 

The latest figures were released on Saturday by Shaparak that is affiliated with the Central Bank of Iran. 

What stands out, however, is the growth in the company's payment devices. 

According to data, more than 5.55 million POS devices were active in Iran by October 21, indicating a significant growth of 35% compared with the previous year’s 4.04 million. 

POS terminals solely accounted for 86.2% of the payments in Iran during the period. They accounted for 91.9% of the transactions in terms of value.  

Tehran Province alone boasted 1.36 million POS terminals.

The total number of online payment gateways grew by a whopping 330%, as over 52,000 gateways were active by Oct. 21. This is while about 15,000 online gateways were active in Iran, a year ago. 

However, online payments only had a 7.5% share in the total value of transactions, showing that users still do not rely on them for transferring larger amounts of money. 

Small-scale transactions were more common through online gateways, as 61% of online transactions were worth less than 250,000 rials.

Mobile payment gateways, numbering at about 10,000, had a 0.52% share from the total value of transactions. The small amount appears to be natural, following CBI's successive warnings about the risk of fraud in mobile payments.

About 73% of transactions in this period were for making purchases. Payment of bills accounted for 20% of the transactions, while the rest were for checking the balance of accounts.

Quality of Transactions

Shaparak recorded 105.7 million failed transactions during the month ending October 21, 86% of which were caused by users. 

Card issuers (banks) and receivers accounted for 11% and 1.89% of the faulty transactions, respectively.

Shaparak said it was responsible for 520,000 faulty transactions during the period, admitting a rise of 75% compared with the previous month’s 296,000.

Beh Pardakht Mellat is still the top payment service provider in Iran. The Bank Mellat-affiliate accounted for 23.68% of total transactions, with a 32.19% share in the value of transactions.

Saman Electronic Payment, affiliated with Bank Saman; Asan Pardakht, and Parsian Electronic Commerce Company, affiliated with Parsian Bank, trailed Beh Pardakht.

Beh Pardakht Mellat accounted for 26.9% of POS terminals and 26.5% of online gateways.

Iran's payment industry is considered one of the most attractive markets for foreigners, considering the rising popularity of online banking and payment services.

Nilson Report, a publication specializing in payment industry news and statistics, has listed seven Iranian payment service providers among the world’s largest 150 acquirers in 2016.

Beh Pardakht Mellat ranked 23rd with about 2 billion transactions during 2015. 

The Nilson Report also ranked Parsian E-Commerce Company, affiliated to Parsian Bank, as the world’s 27th top acquirer with 1.8 billion transactions in 2015.

Asan Pardakht Persian was ranked 28th and Saman Bank’s Saman E-Payment Company came in 34th. 

Pasargad Electronic Payment, affiliated with Bank Pasargad Iran, ranked 63rd, Bank Melli Iran’s Sadad Informatics was 68th and Iran Kish Credit Card Company stood at 74th place in the Nilson Report. 

The Central Bank of Iran has licensed 12 PSPs to operate in the market. 

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