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EghtesadOnline: Data released by Shaparak payment and settlement network show that during the last Iranian month to May 21, it processed 2.14 billion retail transactions worth 2,759 trillion rials ($20.2 billion).

Compared to a month earlier, the figures indicate hikes of 50.4% and 17.3% in terms of value and volume, respectively.  

The surge in transactions can be ascribed to the fact that data was compared to the period when most businesses were closed due to the annual two-week Nowrouz holidays.   

Data, however, indicated 30.1% rise in the number and 54.5% growth in the value of transactions on an annual basis, according to Financial Tribune.

Yearly increase in transactions can be explained by the galloping inflation. To present data in real value terms, the report does not consider the inflation factor.  

The real value of transactions shot up 4.64% compared to the same period last year.  Compared to the previous month and after factoring inflation, the value of transactions increased by 48.17%.


Payment Instruments 

In terms of three main payment instruments, namely internet, mobile and point-of-sale (POS) devices, the data indicates decline in the number of internet transactions and growth in POS and mobile payments.  

The number of transactions conducted via the internet fell 0.88% in the aforementioned month compared to the earlier month. 

Mobile transactions registered 1.68% growth in the same month and payment via POS devices grew 0.96% on a monthly basis. 

The bigger share of POS in processing transactions is attributed to limitations of transactions on cell phones and the internet because supplementary devices are needed to process mobile transactions. 

Higher number of POS devices and their easy availability is another factor for their widespread use. 

POS terminals topped the list for the most widely-used transaction tools, accounting for 87.94% of total electronic transactions. Internet payment services and mobile payments also accounted for 5.97% and 6.09% of transaction, respectively.  

Transactions for purchasing goods and services had the lion’s share at 82.39% while the share of transactions conducted to pay bills and buy mobile prepaid recharges stood at 12.33%. Barely 5.28% of transactions pertained to checking account balances.

Tehran boasts the highest number of payment instruments. During the month, more than 1.53 million POS terminals were active in the capital, followed by Khorasan Razavi and Isfahan provinces with 58,358 and 519,342 devices respectively.


PSP Performance 

The data covered performance of Payment Service Providing (PSP) companies showing that Beh-Pardakht, a Bank Mellat, subsidiary payment firm, has the largest share of the payment market in both volume and value accounting for 21.16% and 24.08% of the total transactions, respectively. 

Saman Electronic Payment, affiliated to Saman Bank, follows Beh-Pardakht with 18.34% and 14.47% of the market in terms of volume and value.

Beh-Pardakht accounted for 23.54% of transactions made via POS terminals, while its closest competitor, Saman Electronic Payment, registered a 17.85% of POS transactions. 

Asan Pardakht Persian hosted 32.83% of online transactions and Asan Pardakht Novin Arian PSP dominated the market for mobile payments at 33.95%.

Twelve authorized PSPs are active in the domestic e-payment industry with more than 4 million active terminals.


Iran Shaparak Payment Companies Retail Base payment and settlement network