CBI Extends Covid Curbs in Banks for Next Fiscal Year
EghtesadOnline: The Central Bank of Iran has extended banking restrictions aimed at avoiding congestion in bank branches in line with broader measures to contain the spread of Covid-19.
According to a notice published on CBI's website, the restrictions will continue throughout the next fiscal year that starts on March 20.
Banks have been instructed to expand electronic services to reduce the physical presence of clients in line with nationwide restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Customers have been encouraged to use online banking services and banks are asked to facilitate access to non-physical services.
The CBI increased the daily cap for card-to-card transfers from 60 million rials to 100 million rials.
Likewise, the money transfer ceiling via electronic platform of payment companies has been increased from 10 million rials to 30 million rials.
Soon after the disease was reported in February 2020, the CBI had expanded the ceiling for daily card-to-card transfer from 30 million rials to 60 million rials.
Furthermore, the validity of debit cards has been extended automatically for one year without cardholders having to go to banks. In addition, banks can issue gift cards valued up to 20 million in credit compared to the maximum 5 million rials in the past.
CBI also requires lenders to provide customers routine banking access, such as opening accounts and requesting loans, via online platforms, to the extent possible. Clients need to go to banks if and when needed to have their IDs confirmed.
Last December, the government suspended enforcement of the new check issuance law until the start of the upcoming fiscal year to prevent check-holders rushing to banks to settle payment issues arising from unfamiliarity with the new rules.
The decision was made by the National Coronavirus Headquarters as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The new check law came into effect on Dec. 12. Prior to that, CBI said the law would be enforced in phases to facilitate a smooth transition.
"Due to the critical changes in check transactions, including issuance, clearance and endorsement as per the new law, and given the negative economic impact of the coronavirus, the law will be enforced in phases," CBI said.
It has also urged people to use electronic payment instruments and avoid using banknotes to avoid infection.
Davoud Mohammad Beigi, the head of CBI’s Payment Systems Department, said earlier that the regulator is expanding infrastructure for contactless payment via QR codes and digital wallets to help limit the virus transmission via banknotes or debit cards in retail outlets.
QR code payment is a contactless payment method where payment is made by scanning a QR code from a mobile app.