No barriers for Paymentwall in Iran
San Francisco-based Paymentwall has integrated Iran’s local payment system, following the end of economic sanctions in the country.
The US and the European Union had imposed economic sanctions on Iran until it complied with restrictions set for its nuclear program. After 35 years, Iran agreed to a nuclear deal with the US, and it can now participate in the world economy after more than three decades of isolation.
With Iran open for international business activities, Paymentwall integrated the Shetab (Interbank Information Transfer Network System).
“Iran has promising potential to become a fertile ground for online businesses worldwide,” says David Ricart, payment project manager of Paymentwall. “Shetab has paved the way for them and streamlined the process of online transactions.”
The Shetab is a unified, electronic clearance system for the entire Iranian banking operations that facilitates transactions from credit cards, ATMs and point-of-sale (POS) terminals.
Through the Shetab, merchants can now tap into the Iranian marketplace.
Paymentwall says that previously, debit and credit cards in the country could only be used on ATMs or POS machines that were provided by the issuer bank.
Shetab has changed that and now allows debit and credit cards to be accepted at any ATM or POS terminals in the country, and even in online payment portals.
As a result, Iran is now one of the countries with the highest debit card penetration rate at 92%, according to techrasa.com citing E-Commerce Monitor (ECM) data.
Also, online monthly transactions in the country have grown 15% from 2015 to the present time as more customers use their debit and credit cards to pay online.
Paymentwall says as Iran re-enters global commerce, businesses will come “rushing in to the country and claim their stake there”.
UPDATE 14 April:
In response to a comment from the public (see below), Paymentwall has clarified its situation in Iran.
It says: “We integrated Shetab as a new payment partner, allowing users to pay, but we are not connected to the Iranian banking system.
“We will allow users from Iran to pay with Shetab, but we still can’t work with Iranian businesses as of now.”
UPDATE 18 April:
It seems there are some barriers in Iran.
On 17 April, and in response to a public query on Facebook, Paymentwall said:
“We have postponed the launching of our services in Iran to make sure we are compliant with the regulations in your country. We will keep you posted on when our services will be launched on our Facebook page.”
Earlier this year, it was reported that Iranian banks were being reconnected to Swift’s international payments system after a four-year hiatus.
Iran’s Central Bank and 15 other banks have restored access to Swift.
The Central Bank said at the time: “The on-boarding process including administrative and technical measures for all non-sanctioned Iranian banks including the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran is now completed.”