Economy, Business And Markets

Iran-Russia Bank Card Integration in 3 Months

Iran-Russia Bank Card  Integration in 3 MonthsIran-Russia Bank Card  Integration in 3 Months

The first stage of integrating the banking payment systems of Iran and Russia will be implemented in the next three months, announced the CEO of Informatics Services Corporation of Iran–a leading developer of banking and payment solutions affiliated with the Central Bank of Iran.

“It has been agreed that in the first stage of integrating the two countries’ payment systems, Iranian citizens who have a Shetab [Iran's national payment system] card and Russians who own Mir Business Bank cards be able to use ATMs of both countries,” Seyyed Abu-Taleb Najafi was also quoted as saying by IBENA.

Central Bank officials had first announced in mid-May that Iran and Russia have agreed to integrate their bank card systems and the plan would come on stream by Aug. 22.

Back then, during a meeting held on the sidelines of the Fifth Conference of Iran-Russia Banking Task Groups, a memorandum of understanding for development of mutual banking ties was signed between the two countries.

The CEO of ISC noted that the next phase of the plan would be to integrate Iran’s payment system with international networks, which requires strong infrastructure on par with international standards.

“We are preparing the necessary infrastructural requirements for implementing the next phase of the plan by establishing a network in cooperation with a Russian company named BPC,” he added.

Earlier this month, ISC signed a deal with Russia's BPC to develop a national platform to link international card payment systems with Iran's.

In March, President Hassan Rouhani met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Iranian banking officials, including CBI Governor Valiollah Seif, accompanied him and held talks with senior Russian banking officials.

Broader Integration

Najafi emphasized that by establishing these infrastructures, the country will be ready for the time when CBI comes to an agreement with international payment networks and other countries’ banks for integration of payment systems.

However, the official noted that a number of media outlets got the news wrong as “they interpreted it like Iran is already being connected to international payment systems, which is not true, as we are just getting prepared for the time when international payment systems enter Iran”.

Integrating Iranian bank cards with those of foreign countries was on CBI's agenda as soon as the nuclear accord, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was implemented on January 16, 2016.

Najafi elaborated that the process of establishing infrastructures for integration with international payment systems would take at least 10-12 months.

“We need to wait and see how negotiations between CBI and foreign payment companies like China’s UPA and Japan’s JCB conclude,” he said.


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