Iranian Bank Cards’ Int’l Linkup by March
The plan to prepare the ground for Iranian bank cards to be used in other countries will be implemented at the beginning of the next fiscal year in March, announced the deputy for innovative technologies at the Central Bank of Iran.
Ali Kermanshah added that the plan has been in the making for the past six months and said, "We will publish the contours of the scheme soon," IRNA reported.
The official said that in the first stage, foreign companies were sent a request to present their programs, which resulted in "a number of biggest international [card] companies" sending their proposals regarding the issue to CBI.
"The plan will enter implementation stage within the next six months and therefore, we hope that it will be executed from early next year," he said.
With the execution of the plan, he explained, Iranians will be able to use their bank cards during their trips to other countries, while foreign tourists will be able to use their own bank cards in the Iranian banking system.
The inability of the Iranian banking system to join the international card systems had created big hurdles for both foreigners spending money in Iran and Iranians shopping abroad, who had to deal with the hassle of carrying large amounts of cash with them.
The CBI's deputy said because Iran's banking system has been out of touch with international standards and banking regulations in the past few years, connecting with international banking cards has its own complexities and "must meet high benchmarks regarding performance, safety and conforming to standards".
"If this plan is implemented, an infrastructure will be provided that exporters and holders of bank cards can use," Kermanshah added.
In October, a leading developer of banking and payment solutions in Iran announced launching a formal bid to seek partnership with top payment solution suppliers to develop a national platform for the management of international card payments.
According to a request for information documents published on the website of Informatics Services Corporation, the company was given an official mandate to launch the “International Card Payment Total Solution" project, with the aim of connecting Iran’s payment ecosystem to the international card schemes, including Japan’s JCB and China’s UnionPay in the short term and finally linking it to Visa and MasterCard over the long term.
"This mandate is defined to help create the facility of accepting foreign visitors’ international cards in Iran’s payment network and issuing international cards for Iranians traveling abroad," he said.
The Central Bank of Iran also announced that it is in talks with foreign payment networks, including European companies, to install and implement an international card payment switch in Iran.