Iranian Bank Cards to Be Activated in Russia, Turkey

Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari said Iran and Russia have agreed to link their bank card systems in a bid to boost the trade ties between the two countries.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the 12th session of Iran-Uzbekistan Joint Economic Commission in Tehran on Monday, Shariatmadari said the establishment of banking ties is highly important to develop trade cooperation between two countries.

“We have reached a conclusion with Russia so that Iranian bank cards can be easily used (in Russia) and the same would take place for Russians in Iran,” he said, adding that the move can promote trade cooperation between the two countries.

He went on to say that Iran and Turkey also plan to link their bank card systems, adding that Iran and Uzbekistan can also establish such banking relations.

Iran’s CBI announced in a statement in May 2017 that the Islamic Republic and Russia had agreed to integrate their bank card systems – a move that officials said would enable Iranian and Russian citizens to use their cards in each other’s countries.

“Iranian citizens who have a Shetab (Iran’s national payment system) card and those who have Russian (Mir) cards will be able to use ATMs in both countries,” the bank announced in its statement.

On a related front, Iran announced in mid-October that an agreement had been signed with a Russian provider of banking technological solutions to connect the country’s financial network with global payment systems.

The agreement was signed between Iran’s Informatics Services Corporation (ISC) and Russia’s BPC Group of Companies.

Based on it, the two companies would cooperate in creating a standard banking card switch platform so as to provide a link between Iranian clients and international providers of financial services.

In December, a top Iranian banking official said the Islamic Republic was conducting tests with Russia to link the bank card systems of the two countries and were already in talks to finalize an agreement between their central banks to overcome the related legal issues.

Davood Mohammad Beigi, the Director of the Payment System department of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), added, “At present, Iran has the closest ties with Russia in the field of international credit cards and good measures have been taken in technical terms.

“In recent months, tests have been carried out less regularly due to some legal problems. In order for any relations to be established, the two countries and their respective central banks need to reach agreements.”

The countries are expected to cooperate on magnetic cards, the official added.

“They will be normal debit cards which can be used by the customer abroad. With respect to the rate agreed upon between the customer and the bank, the bank pays the amount in a foreign currency and will withdraw the equal amount in Rial from the person’s bank account,” Beigi explained, while answering the question on whether the cooperation involves the currency cards or the standard ones.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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