EghtesadOnline: Bank Melli Iran is ready to introduce intelligent plastic banknotes in line with plans to promote usage of innovative technology in the banking sector, said Reza Mansouri, managing director of BMI's Printing and Publishing Company.
“Plastic banknotes are encrypted, capable of identifying their owner. Resistant to folding and soil as well as being waterproof are other features of plastic banknotes, making them more durable compared to paper notes,” he said in an interview with Jamejamonline website.
“BMI will start circulating the new banknotes whenever the conditions are ready,” he said without providing details.
Mansouri noted that his company is planning to replace bank cards and paper banknotes with new transaction methods that make use of customers’ biometric features.
“ATM devices would be able to identify customers through their voice, eye color or face,” he said adding that such technology would also considerably promote security of the banking network.
BMI's Printing and Publishing Company was established in 1938, when Bank Melli Iran was in charge of circulating money in the country. At the moment the BMIPPC meets the needs of government institutions' and banks' printing needs.
The company offers 3,000 printing services including for bonds, ID cards, ballot papers, title deeds, checks and government documents.
Elaborating on his company’s problems during sanctions, Mansouri said: “We had problems buying materials and new equipment, but as time passed were able to meet our needs with help from domestic human resources.”
BMIPPC was on the European Union's blacklist in 2010, but was removed from the list with the easing of international sanctions in January.
Large volumes of worn-out banknotes have been a major challenge for the central bank in recent years. An estimated 700 million old and worn-out banknotes were removed from circulation during the fiscal year that ended in March 2015. There was a record withdrawal of 1.2 billion mutilated banknotes earlier, Financial Tribune reported.
The average cost of printing one banknote is 1,200 rials ($0.04) which annually amounts to one trillion rials ($33 million).