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EghtesadOnline: In the calendar month Bahman (Jan.21-Feb.19) close to 1,972 million transactions worth 2,385 trillion ($15.4 billion) were processed via Shaparak (the domestic electronic payment network) – up 6.14% and 16.83% in volume and value compared to the month before.

A report published by the Central Bank of Iran-affiliated entity on its website indicates 48.08% hike in the value of transactions in comparison to the same month last year. The number of transactions grew 27.49% year-on-year.  

The report ascribes annual surge in the value of transactions partially to rising inflation. As for the contribution of other factors, Shaparak referred to the increasing number of receiving instruments and debit cards plus the growing willingness to use a variety o payment methods instead of cash. 

After announcing CBI restrictions last December on the permitted value of daily purchases via Point-of-Sale devices as a measure to control capital flight and curb money laundering via POS machines, the value of transactions declined two months in a row, according to Financial Tribune.

Despite the fact the CBI restrictions are still in force, the value of transactions climbed again in the Iranian months of Day and Bahman, apparently due to galloping inflation.  

CBI issued a directive in December telling banks and credit institutions to abide by its restrictions on the ceiling of transactions. The bylaw initially allowed a daily ceiling of 500 million rials ($3,846) for each transaction that was later increased to 1 billion rials ($7,692). 

Factoring out the inflation factor in the nominal statistics, the report presents data in real value terms to provide more robust information for decision-making.

Accordingly, the real value of transactions rose 14.32% in Bahman compared to a month ago. Consumer Price Index, the main gauge of inflation, rose about 2.20% monthly. 

On YOY basis, the real value of transactions witnessed 6.22% growth while the CPI was reported by the CBI at 39.42% YOY. 


Receiving Instruments 

Shaparak offers services via internet, cell phone and POS devices. According to the report, the total number of receiving instruments increased 0.33% compared to a month earlier to reach 9.4 million. The rise is mainly attributed to mobile and internet instruments, which respectively increased 1.34% and 1.13% compared to a month before. The number of POS devises rose  0.06% during the period. 

In terms of value and volume of transactions processed via each receiving instrument, POS devices as usual had the lion’s share, accounting for 88.06% and 91.37% of the total instruments. 

This was followed by the Internet and mobile instruments, witnessing 8.31% and 0.32% monthly rise in value, respectively.    

Higher number of POS devices is attributed mainly to their wider spread compared to other devices and its capability to be used without the need for supplementary devices such as PC or cellphone, which may not always be accessible.  

The average value of transaction processed via POS devices was 1.25 million rials ($9.2) in the month of Bahman. Likewise, each Internet and mobile transaction on average was worth 1.69 million rials and 70,000 rials respectively.   

In terms of services offered by Shaparak, data show that during the month under review, 81.81% of the transactions were conducted for “buying goods and services. “Buying cellphone recharges and paying bills” was in second place, accounting for 12.45% of the services and 5.75% of the transactions for “checking account balances.” 

As for penetration of the receiving instruments, there were 1,585 instruments per 10,000 adults (above 18 years old) in the country. POS devices had the highest and Internet the lowest penetration rates in Bahman, registering 1,216 and 173 instruments per 10,000 adults, respectively. 

During the period, there were 1.5 million active POS devices operating in Tehran Province followed by Razavi Khorasan and Isfahan provinces. The lowest number of POS devices was reported in Ilam Province, which had 52,474 POS machines in operation. 

As seen in previous reports, Beh Pardkht Mellat holds the lion's share in volume and value of transactions processed in Bahman. The major Payment Service Provider (PSP) accounted for 21.20% and 24.45% of the volume and value respectively. 

Saman Electronic Payment was second on the list, processing 18.23% and 14.8% of the volume and value of transactions respectively.  


Iran Shaparak transactions electronic payment network