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EghtesadOnline: Transactions via electronic platforms declined in value and volume in the calendar month ending August 22, according to a report released by Shaparak, the Iranian card payment network.

More than 3.16 billion transactions worth 5,368.84 trillion rials ($19.8 billion) were processed by the company in the mentioned month, indicating 6.36% and 4.23% fall in volume and value, respectively, compared to the month before.

However, compared to the corresponding period last year, the volume and value of transactions was higher 9.09% and 12.58%, respectively.

Monthly decline in transactions is partly ascribed to the decline in businesses activity due to lockdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

In mid-August (August 16 to 21) a weeklong nationwide lockdown was announced by the government to stem a fresh wave of Covid-19 infections. All non-essential businesses were ordered to close and interprovincial travel was restricted.

The annual upsurge in the value of transactions is linked also to the runaway inflation. When adjusted for inflation, the real value of transactions fell 18.88% compared to the same period last year. On monthly basis, the value of transactions were down 4.23% after factoring out inflation.

Payment Services

Three main services are offered via the payment network, namely internet, cellphone and point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

With more than 12.78 million payment instruments operating in the mentioned period, the total number of instruments rose 0.19% compared to the month earlier.

Internet payment gateways contributed to the rise, increasing 0.88% to reach 1.64 million. The number of mobile instruments rose 0.6% and POS terminals grew slightly by 0.02% in the month.

As usual, POS devices topped the list of instruments with 75.7% market share. This was followed by online payment gateways with 12.84% and mobile instruments 11.43%.

POS devices accounted for 90.17% of the total transactions processing 2.85 billion transactions worth 4,711.7 ($17.45 billion) during the month.

Online gateways were next with 6.27% of the total transactions and mobile instruments represented 3.57%.

The report said in terms of the purpose of transactions, purchasing goods and paying for services had the lion’s share  at 88.07%.

Transactions for buying cellphone recharges and checking account balance respectively accounted for 7.68% and 4.25% of the total in the month.

As for the penetration rate of payment tools, the report showed that the number of instruments per 10,000 adults (above 18 years old) was 2,067 in the month under review.

The highest penetration rate was for POS devices with 1,566 and mobile instruments the lowest with 236 instruments per 10,000 adults.

Tehran Province topped the list of provinces with the highest number of POS terminals. There were 1.94 million active POS devices in the capital, indicating 0.17% decline compared to the earlier month.

Khorasan Razavi Province was next with 729,319 and Isfahan 662,085 active devices. Ilam Province was at the bottom end with 66,374 devices.


Iran transactions E-Payments