EghtesadOnline: The Central Bank of Iran has required banks to charge customers higher fees for banking operations in rial and electronic banking services.
New banking fees will be implemented from Nov. 22, the bank said and also allowing lenders to offer up to 30% discount on banking charges to help promote competition between banks. Bank fees have remained unchanged in the past three years.
As per the CBI announcement, transferring money through ATMs and mobile applications will cost 6,000 rials for transactions up to 10 million rials. Customers will be charged an extra 2,400 rial for transferring every 10 million rials over and above the initial 10 million rials. The ATM service is the most popular in Iran.
Transferring money using PAYA, Iran’s electronic clearing house, and SATNA, internationally known as Real Time Gross Settlement, will cost 0.02% of the transfer amount as of Nov. 22.
Fee for checking account balance will be 200 rials, double the current rate. Customers should also pay 1,500 rials, if they need to check details of the 10 last transactions of their account(s). The fee for issuing new bank cards has been increased to 30,000 rials.
Services such as providing cards, issuing guarantee letters, transferring money, granting interest-free loans and opening letters of credit are among the main sources of income for banks.
However, customers are not charged for making payment transactions within Shaparak Network, the country's domestic payment network.
At present, banks receiving and making payments bear the bulk of payment fees because when a payment is made with a bank card, the bank receiving the payment has to pay a fee to the bank whose card has been used. This is on top of the amount banks pay as rent and support fees for each POS device to payment service providers.
As per rules, lenders can charge customers proportionate to the total cost of the services they provide. However, banks have largely waived the fee over the past decades to compete in the market saturated with banks.
Talk of rewriting bank service fees has been around for years but was in limbo apparently due to the perceived negative response of the public, particularly at a time when most households at the lower end of the economic ladder are already saddled with high and rising living costs.