Paymentwall, a San Francisco-based payments provider, has moved to expand its business into Iran, even as major banks remain reluctant to do so themselves.
Paymentwall integrated the Shetab system, Iran's interbank transfer network system, onto its platform, enabling international merchants to take online payment from Iranian account holders.
Is Paymentwall a brave (and isolated) first mover? Or the first of many fintech companies looking to access a recently-opened market.
“Iran has promising potential to become a fertile ground for online businesses worldwide,” says David Ricart, payment project manager of Paymentwall. “Shetab has paved the way for them and streamlined the process of online transactions.” Paymentwall says that previously, debit and credit cards in the country could only be used on ATMs or POS machines that were provided by the issuer bank. Shetab has changed that and now allows debit and credit cards to be accepted at any ATM or POS terminals in the country, and even in online payment portals. As a result, Iran is now one of the countries with the highest debit card penetration rate at 92%, according to techrasa.com citing E-Commerce Monitor (ECM) data