EghtesadOnline: More than 1,300 point of sale terminals operating outside Iran have been blocked after the Central Bank of Iran enforced its decision to ban all such systems in foreign countries.
In February the CBI announced a decision to ban all POS machines operating abroad.
Following the directive, the Electronic Card Payment Network System (aka Shaparak), affiliated to the CBI, banned 930 terminals in foreign countries in the first round of its blocking operations in January, Shaparak website reported.
The company identified and later blocked the operations of an additional 370 POS devices by the end of previous fiscal in March. Of a total 1,304 active POS machines in foreign countries, 1207 were identified by the Payment Service Providers (PSPs) and the rest by Shaparak, according to Financial Tribune.
Akbar Komijani, the CBI deputy governor, said earlier the restrictions were successful in curbing speculative activities in the chaotic currency market.
The move is part of broader measures undertaken by the CBI to stabilize the volatile foreign exchange market, curb capital flight, fight money laundering and avert suspicious activities using the rapid payment network.
CBI Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati has criticized the existence of POS devices in neighboring countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan as well as in western countries, saying that currency trade by exchange bureaux in those countries is fueling capital flight.
In a similar measure last December, the CBI issued a directive ordering banks and credit institutions to abide by the restrictions it has set on the ceiling of money transactions.
The directive allowed a maximum 500 million rials in daily transaction for a single debit card and up to 1 billion rials for any national ID number. In other words, each card holder is allowed to purchase up to one billion rials via POS devices with one debt card.
Mehdi Toubaei, the deputy for development and supervisory affairs at Shaparak had earlier warned that foreign POS machines that use Iranian IP addresses will be blocked.
He said Shaparak and electronic payment systems will track and block devices that use the Virtual Private Network to alter their IP address to Iran.