Economy, Business And Markets

First VTMs in Iran

First VTMs in IranFirst VTMs in Iran

In early January, the first Virtual Teller Machine (VTM) was unveiled by Tosan Techno in one of Bank Shahr branches in Tehran, according to an article in

Up until now, off-branch banking services have been limited to making payments via ATMs. The arrival of VTM, which is a cashless ATM, can serve as a milestone in Iran’s electronic banking industry, just like when point-of-sales (POS) terminals and ATMs transformed the industry significantly, the website said, citing Mohammad Mazaheri, managing director of Tosan Techno, a company providing e-payment solutions.

The central bank has frequently voiced the need for the banks to move towards mega branches and reduce their finished costs while maintaining their market share. Therefore, “it is high time to take complicated and non-card transactions out of branches and provide 24/7 services to clients,” Mazaheri said.

Using VTM customers can be in touch with their banks very conveniently and banking services requiring account numbers can also be handled. The cost for banks is also reduced as the VTM is a low cost unit. The cost of launching 5 VTM units equals with a new physical branch, according to Jamshid Javadipour, the deputy managing director of Tosan Techno.

Although the VTM units also need technical support from physical branches, the cost is estimated to be 10 times lower than the maintenance of a physical branch. In addition, deployment of VTMs reduces the number of required personnel by 40-50 percent while tripling the service hours to clients from 8 hours to 24.

Comparison Between Traditional branches and VTMs

Iranian people are already familiar with ATMs, POS terminals and bank cards. Therefore, it is likely that VTMs also receive the same warm reception. However, it should be noted that the more user-friendly services, the more success will be achieved in institutionalizing the new technology, Javadipour said.