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The exact time for the implementation of the plan has not been determined yet and the letter is just a  heads-up for PSP companies.
The exact time for the implementation of the plan has not been determined yet and the letter is just a  heads-up for PSP companies.

Payment Services’ Fees Up for Overhaul

The letter urges PSP outfits, especially those who are active in the stock market, to be ready to adjust their financial statements with the new framework

Payment Services’ Fees Up for Overhaul

Shaparak Company, Iran’s national payment network operator, has reportedly notified all payment service providers in a letter that regulations concerning fees will be overhauled.

According to the letter, the issue of payment services’ fees has always been one of the biggest challenges for Iran’s payment system.

Noting that banks are currently shouldering the bulk of payment services’ fees, the Central Bank of Iran deemed it necessary to overhaul the regulations to provide relief to lenders.

Therefore, the letter urges PSP outfits, especially those who are active in the stock market, to be ready to adjust their financial statements with the new framework, CBI’s website reported.

Banks currently cover the fees for most types of payment services. A majority of transactions in Iran are done through POS terminals.  

Since December 2015, banks were obligated by CBI to solely pay the transaction fees.

Revenues from the fees are allocated to PSPs that offer services for accepting e-payments to support their infrastructure development.

CEO of Shaparak Company Mohsen Qaderi told IBENA that the letter was drafted after the last meeting with the heads of PSP companies about two weeks ago and sent to them only as a notification.

“The volume of fees that banks have to pay is increasing by the day, which necessities reform in the current system and a number of changes to the regulations,” he added.

Shaparak’s CEO noted that the exact time for the implementation of the plan has not been determined yet and the letter is just a heads-up for PSP companies. However, CBI is utilizing its full potential to start the plan by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2018).

“The plan is being pursued by CBI with the full coordination of banks and PSP companies,” he said.

Twelve PSPs have so far been licensed by the Central Bank of Iran to operate in the domestic market. PSPs process about 1 billion transactions each month worth about 1 trillion rials ($31.7 billion) on average.

 Industry Reactions

Four of the aforementioned PSPs are currently active in Iran’s stock market. They will be probably more affected by the new regulations.

These PSP companies are Iran Kish Credit Card Company, Pasargad Electronic Payment affiliated with Bank Pasargad Iran, Beh Pardakht Mellat affiliated with Bank Mellat and Asan Pardakht Persian.

Among them, the CEO of Iran Kish Credit Card Company was the first to react to the letter. Sadeq Faramarzi has sent two letters to Securities and Exchange Organization and Shaparak Company in which he emphasized that due to a lack of sufficient financial data, there is no way to determine proper fees for payment services.  

“Any decision that changes the regulations of payment services’ fees should be postponed to the final months of the [fiscal] year [in March] so the companies are able to devise their next year’s budget plan according to the new regulations. Otherwise, shareholders of PSP companies will suffer losses and PSPs active in the stock market will face serious fluctuations,” he added.

This is while the head of CBI’s IT department noted that the new regulations are to eliminate the chances of a bubble in the value of PSP companies’ share in the stock exchange market.

“There is not going to be a shock for PSP companies, as we are only trying to modify the payment services’ fees since their volume has surged,” Nasser Hakimi also told Boursepress.

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