Iran to Introduce MasterCards: Minister

Iran is about to introduce credit card services processed by global payment operator MasterCard for the first time, Communications and Information Technology Minister Mahmoud Vaezi says.

Credit and debit cards, accepted in more than 210 countries where MasterCard is valid, will be distributed at financial branches of the Iran Post company from August 23, which coincides with the beginning of the Government Week, he said.

It follows an agreement signed between a representative of MasterCard and Iran Post, allowing Iranians to make payment transactions during travel abroad, buy articles from foreign publications or attend international conferences, Press TV quoted Vaezi as saying.

Payment transactions of up to $10,000 are possible with each card which is rechargeable, the minister said in remarks published by the Mehr news agency on Sunday.

MasterCard made its first inroads into the Iranian market back in December when the Tasnim news agency said the global payment operator had launched a channel in instant messaging app Telegram through which it sent posts in Persian “to attract Iranian users to its services.”

MasterCard also advertised on its channel a 24-hour voicemail which responded to Iranian customers in Persian, it added.

An important service which was being advertised in MasterCard’s channel for Iranians in Telegram concerned dollar-based payments, Tasnim said then.

Under US sanctions, Iran cannot use the American banking system and dollar-denominated transactions are prohibited for the country.

This has significantly complicated not only individual foreign-bound payments by Iranians but also business transactions between Iranians and foreigners.

Vaezi also said two private postal companies will receive operation licenses after the Government Week, but did not identify them.


Mahmoud Vaezi
Communications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi addresses the inauguration of Iran’s first data center for cloud computing in Tehran, Aug. 14, 2016.

In July, Chief Executive of Iran Post Hossein Mehri said the company had signed an MoU for cooperation with Germany’s logistics firm DHL and Dutch package delivery firm TNT Express.

Under the agreement, Iran Post would collect local parcels on behalf of the foreign companies and deliver them to those firms in order to reduce the forwarding time, Mehri said.

DHL is owned by German mail and logistics group Deutsche Post, providing express courier delivery, freight forwarding and supply chain services.

TNT Express is a Dutch express delivery company which collects, transports, and delivers documents, parcels and freight across the world.