Iran’s payment card market is developed, with penetration of 3.1 cards per individual in 2021 the highest in comparison to peers Israel, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Oman. The high penetration is a result of the country’s strong banked population and various government initiatives to encourage electronic payments Meanwhile, the payment card market registered robust growth in terms of transaction volume and value over the review period. The country’s improved payments infrastructure, growth in the number of retailers accepting payment cards, and a consumer shift towards card-based payments supported this growth. Although the US sanctions have isolated Iran from the global payment system, the country’s strong domestic payment infrastructure, the adoption of new technologies, and the availability of various alternative payment methods are likely to drive electronic payments in the country.
Iran cards and payments market overview
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Scope of the report
This report provides detailed analysis of market trends in Iran cards and payments industry. It provides values and volumes for a number of key performance indicators in the industry, including cards, and cheques during the review-period (2017-21e).
The report also analyses various payment card markets operating in the industry and provides detailed information on the number of cards in circulation, transaction values and volumes during the review-period and over the forecast-period (2021e-25f). It also offers information on the country’s competitive landscape, including the market shares of issuers and schemes.
The report brings together GlobalData’s research, modelling, and analysis expertise to allow banks and card issuers to identify segment dynamics and competitive advantages. The report also covers details of regulatory policy and recent changes in the regulatory structure.
This report provides top-level market analysis, information and insights into Iran cards and payments industry, including –
- Current and forecast values for each market in Iranian cards and payments industry, including debit and credit cards.
- Detailed insights into payment instruments including cards and cheques. It also includes an overview of the country’s key alternative payment instruments.
- Ecommerce market analysis.
- Analysis of various market drivers and regulations governing Iranian cards and payments industry.
- Detailed analysis of strategies adopted by banks and other institutions to market debit and credit cards.
What are the market dynamics in Iran cards and payments market?
Iranian government has undertaken various initiatives to increase credit card adoption. To promote credit cards as an alternative to small micro loans, in August 2021 the Central Bank of Iran increased the maximum credit limit that can be offered on credit cards from IRR50 million ($1,187.57) to IRR200 million ($4,750.28). In June 2021 the central bank allowed five banks (Bank Mellat, Bank Saderat Iran, Tejarat Bank, Refah Bank, and Bank Melli Iran) to offer credit cards to people who are eligible to receive government subsidies, with a maximum credit limit of IRR7.0 million ($166.26) and a repayment period of 18 months. The card can only be used for payments and does not support withdrawals or fund transfers.
The central bank is also focusing on boosting contactless mobile payments. In February 2021, it launched an EMV-based mobile payment system in Iran, which allows users to make NFC-based contactless mobile payments by adding their payment cards to supported mobile apps. As of September 2021, three banks and a payment service provider had enabled this contactless payment functionality at over 20,000 POS terminals. Another 764,000 POS terminals are now being equipped with this functionality. The growing emphasis on contactless payments will further drive electronic payments in the country.
Iranian rial has been declining in value amid rising inflation and US sanctions. Its value further deteriorated following the outbreak of COVID-19. In a bid to address this situation, in May 2020, Iranian government passed a bill to replace the rial with the toman (with one toman equal to 10,000 rials). The central bank has been given two years to remove rials from circulation and issue tomans.
How has COVID-19 affected Iran cards and payments market?
Iran reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on February 19, 2020. As the number of cases increased, the government announced a nationwide lockdown on March 14, 2020. This involved social distancing as well as the closure of educational institutions, shops, restaurants, bars, and sports venues. The government also banned domestic and international travel. The pandemic led to a decline in overall consumer spending, which in turn has affected the payments market. The gradual easing of government restrictions and the ongoing vaccination program are expected to boost consumer and commercial spending, thereby supporting payment market growth.
Who are the key players in Iran cards and payment market?
The key players in Iran’s cards and payment market are Bank Melli Iran, Bank Sepah, Bank Saderat Iran, Tejarat Bank, Bank Keshavarzi, Refah Bank, Post Bank of Iran, Parsian Bank, Bank Maskan, Bank Mellat, Qarz Al-Hasaneh Mehr Iran Bank, EN Bank, TTBank, Ansar Bank, Bank Pasargad, Sina Bank, Ayandeh Bank, Saman Bank and Sarmayeh Bank.
Iran cards and payment market, by key players
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Reasons to Buy
- Make strategic business decisions, using top-level historic and forecast market data, related to Iran’s cards and payments industry and each market within it.
- Understand the key market trends and growth opportunities in Iran’s cards and payments industry.
- Assess the competitive dynamics in Iran’s cards and payments industry.
- Gain insights into marketing strategies used for various card types in Iran.
- Gain insights into key regulations governing Iran’s cards and payments industry.
Bank Melli Iran
Bank Saderat Iran
Post Bank of Iran
Qarz Al-Hasaneh Mehr Iran Bank
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Payment Infrastructure and Regulation
Frequently Asked Questions
Cards account for 99.9% of non-cash transaction volume.
Debit cards remain the preferred card type for payments, accounting for 98.0% of cards in circulation.
Iran has a highly developed payment card market, with penetration of 3.1 payment cards per individual.
Frequency of payment card increased from 106.5 transactions per card in 2017 to 216.0 transactions in 2021. Debit card payment frequency in Iran is estimated at 196.7 in 2021.