54 Projects for Payment Industry Overhaul
The Central Bank of Iran has devised 54 projects and platforms as part of its 2021 Roadmap that outlines an innovative, flexible and strong future for the banking system, announced the bank’s deputy for innovative technologies.
“A total of 54 strategic projects have been defined in the 2021 Roadmap, which include platforms to improve the infrastructure of information technology and payment in the country,” Ali Kermanshah also said in a talk with IBENA.
Kermanshah last week announced in the Sixth Conference on E-Banking and Payment Systems held in Tehran that the blueprint is set to define an appropriate role for fintech companies in the Iranian banking system.
“CBI plans to develop a number of electronic systems, mainly to upgrade Iran’s banking system and put customers at the center of banking services,” he had said at the time.
He had also mentioned that the platforms of the roadmap are concerned with conducting banking operations, implementing monetary policies, offering payment services and enhancing ITC services.
In his latest remarks, the official said the central bank has been at work for the past few years to develop the roadmap centered on information technology, therefore the bank has decided to overhaul the sector.
Referring to the 54 projects, Kermanshah said they “include all areas of banking operations from monetary policymaking to supervision and economic reviews, as well as improvement of information technology and payment infrastructures”.
Kermanshah noted that overhauling the information technology has become one of the most serious tasks of the central bank, which will be centered on devising rules, regulations and standards “based on knowledge” to explore the full potential of the sector.
Overhaul of Regulations
Noting that the current regulations in the country are not in line with the latest banking technology, the CBI official added that at times technology progresses faster than laws and “therefore we need to develop regulations and regulators in this sector”.
“Under the prevailing ambiguous regulations, banks, clients and supervisory entities cannot do their work and they cannot set the course of their activities for meaningful development in a collaborative atmosphere,” he said.
To stop the expansion of this regressive trend, Kermanshah added that the 2012 Roadmap has also been steered in this direction and will include a number of projects that aim to reform and improve the regulations.
The CBI had previously announced plans to launch a new regulatory body specifically for fintech firms. Shaparak Company, a CBI-affiliated entity in charge of supervising payment networks, will help the CBI in training, implementing and supervising innovative firms.
Unofficial reports show more than 50 fintech firms are operating in Iran, all of which have developed in the past three years.
The CBI official referred to the recent expansion of these firms, but warned that “we are behind in terms of standards, regulations and safety” as a result of being cut off from the international community that took place after western-imposed sanctions.
According to Kermanshah, the Iranian payment sector must undergo a significant change to create a modern and effective system.
“This is needed so that its players, big and small, can reap its benefits through constructive interaction,” he said.