Economy, Sci & Tech

Banks Race for Mobile Payment Services

Bank Refah is pushing ahead with digital payments.Bank Refah is pushing ahead with digital payments.

Bank Refah Kargaran has launched the pilot phase of its mobile-based payment service in collaboration with one of the major mobile operators, RighTel.

Bank Refah, established before the 1979 Islamic Revolution with headquarters in Tehran, is a well-known retail commercial bank owned and controlled by the non-government Social Security Organization (SSO). The bank provides a full range of products and services to more than a million clients.

According to RighTel’s public relations office, the service uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology for financial transactions. The new payment service was unveiled over the weekend.

NFC method makes transactions easier by holding two electronic devices 10 cm apart. Bank Refah-RighTel NFC payment service is not the first to be launched in the country and other banks have already rolled out their own versions of the service.

A member of the board of directors of Bank Refah, Farshid Farokhnejad, unveiled the bank’s first cash machine equipped with NFC technology at an official ceremony in Tehran at the weekend.

The NFC-equipped machine has been developed jointly by the bank and RighTel. According to Farokhnejad, “All Refah Bank cash machines and POS devices will be equipped with the technology in the near future.”

Several banks have recently launched their own digital payment systems. CEO of the private Saman Bank announced that the lender’s main plan for the upcoming five years is expanding its online and mobile-based services.

Valiollah Zarabie said, “Saman Bank through one of its new subsidiaries, Kish Cell Pars (better known as SamanTel), is set to establish the required mobile infrastructure for offering services.”

SamanTel unveiled its Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) services in April, while also announcing its proposed price plan for the services.

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