EghtesadOnline: The nationwide payment settlement network, known as Shaparak, processed more than 2.25 billion payments worth 2,790.8 trillion rials ($20.98 billion based on open market currency rates in Tehran) in the last calendar month to December 21.
Transactions rose 10.63% in value and 1.42% in volume compared to the 2.22 billion transactions valued at 2,522 trillion rials ($18.96 billion) handled by Shaparak a month earlier.
On year-on-year basis, the transactions increased 21.78% and 39.51% in volume and value, respectively, though the increase in value could be partly attributed to the rise in inflation, according to Financial Tribune.
In the same vein, Shaparak ascribed the annual increase in the number transactions to rise in payment receiving instruments and debit cards plus growing tendency among the public to use electronic payment tools instead of cash.
Shaparak presents figures in real value terms to adjust for inflation. Accordingly, the real value of transactions registered 7.21% growth on a monthly basis and 9.2% rise YOY.
With more than 10.33 million payment instruments operating during the reviewed month, the total number of instruments showed 1.47% growth compared to the month ago.
The rise was mainly attributed to point-of-sale devices in shops, which grew 1.69% to reach 7.96 million. The number of mobile platforms and internet payment gateways rose 1.31% and 0.06% during the month, respectively.
In terms of market share, POS devices were at the top with 77.06% share. Mobile instruments came next with a share of 12.36% followed by internet payment gateways at 10.59%.
Higher number of POS devices is mainly ascribed to their wider spread compared to other devices as well as the convenience with which payments are made without need for supplementary devices such as PC or cellphone, which may not always be accessible.
POS devices accounted for 88.16% of the total number of transactions by processing 1.99 billion transactions with the total value of 2,475.72 trillion rials ($18.61 billion) during the month.
Online gateways were next on the list accounting for 6.27% of the total number of transactions and mobile instruments represented 5.57% of the total transactions.
In terms of services offered by Shaparak, figures show that 83.79% of transactions were related to “buying goods and services”.
“Buying cellphone recharges and paying bills” accounted for 10.78% of all processed transactions during the month under review. More than 5.43% of the transactions were conducted for “checking account balances”.
As for the penetration rate of payment tools, the report said there were 1,732 instruments per 10,000 adults (above 18 years old) during the month.
POS devices had the highest and internet instruments the lowest penetration rates with 1,334 and 183 instruments per 10,000 adults, respectively.
Tehran province was first with the highest number of POS terminals. There were 1.65 million active POS devices in the metropolis, which indicates 1.68% rise compared to the month before.
This was followed by Khorasan Razavi with 607,468 and Isfahan with 557,283 active devices. Ilam Province with 58,451 devices had the lowest number of POS devices
Shaparak also covered the performance of payment service providers in the month.
Beh Pardakht Mellat, a Bank Mellat-affiliated PSP firm, had processed higher volume and value of payments accounting for 22.87% and 24.49% of all transactions, respectively.
Saman Electronic Payment, a Bank Saman-affiliate, was next representing 18.68% of all processed transactions in terms of volume and 15.52% of the total value of processed transactions.
Beh Pardakht Mellat accounted for 23.73% of all transaction via POS devices.
Likewise, Asan Pardakht Persian was the top PSP in processing transactions conducted via online payment gateways and mobile instruments, accounting for 37.84% and 29.88%, respectively.