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EghtesadOnline: The Central Bank of Iran is planning to allow authorized exchange shops to use international cards in daily operations [instead of cash], the CBI governor said.

“Such operations will be conducted under the central bank’s close supervision,” ILNA also quoted Valiollah Seif as saying on Monday, without elaborating further.

"The central bank is working to develop the infrastructure needed for connecting Iran’s payment network to international networks."

The top banking policymaker noted that Iran’s banking network is more likely to be connected to Chinese, Japanese and Russian payment systems, according to Financial Tribune.

Following the lifting of sanctions in January 2016, CBI started talks with Japan's JCB and China’s UnionPay.

Payment authorities are aiming to link Iran’s payment ecosystem to the international card schemes, including JCB and UnionPay in the short term and Visa and MasterCard over the long term.

American card providers, including MasterCard and Visa, are still restricted from working with Iranian entities.

Seif also said talks are underway with neighboring countries over linking bank card systems.

“We hope to reach agreements with Turkey and Azerbaijan in the near future,” he said.

Shaparak, Iran’s payment network processed more than a billion transactions valued at 1,258 trillion rials ($33.5 billion) in 2016. It recorded a 30% growth in the total number of transactions and a 44% rise in transactions' value during the period.

CBI Valiollah Seif Central Bank of Iran international cards Iran exchange shops