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EghtesadOnline: A new report by the Iran e-payment network, known as Shaparak, says major payment service providers have maintained their lead in the growing market.

It said Saman Electronic Payment (SEP) accounts for the largest portion of electronic payments at 21.43% -- slightly higher than its share last month. 

Beh Pardakht Mellat was next with 19.72% of the total  transactions followed by Parsian E-Commerce Company (PECCO) 17.43% and Asan Pardakht Persian 8.94%.

Beh Pardakht, however, topped the list of PSPs in the total value of transactions during the month to May 20 with 19.67%. SEP came in second with 17.20%, followed by PECCO 12.17% and Iran Kish Credit Card Company 11.39%. 

SEP was the leading PSP in terms of the total number of transactions made via POS terminals and mobile payment gateways with 21.08% and 38.24%, respectively. The highest number of transactions made using online payment gateways was by Asan Pardakht Persian Company at 41.77%. 

An estimated 3.547 billion retail transactions were processed by the main payment network in the second calendar month to May 21.

Transactions were worth 6,677 trillion rials ($20.93 billion) – up 10.9% in volume and 22.77% in value on the month before, the company said.

Total value of transactions jumped 39.07% on the same month last year when 3.02 billion transactions worth 4,801 trillion rials ($15.05b) were registered. In volume terms it was up 17.44% y/y.

Nearly 18.47% of the total value of POS terminal transactions were undertaken by Beh Pardakht, whereas SEP accounted for the lion’s share of the payments via online gateways and mobile gateways with 31.12% and 43.62%, respectively. 

Damavand Electronic Card Company and Farapardazan Arvand Omid accounted for the least transactions, both in volume and value. 

Shaparak's provided data on the quality of PSPs services, as per which PECCO accounted for the least failures during the month. Damavand Electronic Card recorded the worst monthly performance as 0.55% of its transactions were rejected. 

The nationwide network failed to process 301.7 million transactions during the month – up 18% from the first month of the year. Users were responsible for 88% of the rejected  transactions. Issuer banks were the cause of nearly 9.7% of failed transactions -- up 6% on the month before.

Shaparak also referred to the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index of the market and said the POS terminal market was relatively competitive with the HHI of 1,448. 

However, the market for online payment gateways and mobile gateways were monopolized with their HHI standing at 2,443 and 3,124, respectively. 

Based on the figures, Asan Pardakht dominated the online payment market with an HHI of 1,745. Sep and Beh Pardakht also dominated the mobile payment market with their HHI  at 1,462 and 1,378, respectively. 

The Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) is a common measure of market concentration and is used to determine market competitiveness, often pre- and post-M&A transactions. The closer a market is to a monopoly, the higher the market's concentration (and the lower its competition).

Twelve PSPs operate in Iran’s digital payment industry and are mostly affiliated to banks. Stringent regulations of the Central Bank of Iran for setting up a PSP have discouraged the emergence of new players in the lucrative and expanding market.