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Iran Launches a FinTech Association to Push for Development

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:54 PM
Rebecca Campbell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:54 PM

Iranian financial technology companies have banded together to create Iran’s FinTech Association, several months after the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) suggested the idea, reports the Financial Tribune .

In January, the chief executive of Iran’s Tejrat Bank also called for the adoption of FinTech innovations in Iran.

At the time, Mohammad Ibrahim Moqaddam, stated when speaking to an expert panel regarding digital currencies that the emergence of bitcoin and the blockchain technology will have a ‘considerable effect on the operating nature,’ of how Iran’s banks work.

He added that it was necessary for banks and FinTech startups to work together as such a collaboration will boost business and efficiency in Iran.

The Iranian capital of Tehran is home to a growing number of local Fintech startups.

Known as FinTech A, the Iran FinTech Association is designed to bring industry players under a single area so that solutions can be found to their problems and improvements can be made between innovators and regulatory bodies.

Nasser Hakimi, director of CBI’s IT Department, said to the Financial Tribune, that he had proposed that FinTech companies develop a forum to figure out the challenges involved, identity key questions, as well as reach out to the regulator for solutions.

Currently, CBI is not able to help innovators case by case, considering the large number of financial innovators…but once the forum is established, the regulator would be able to help fintechs quickly and efficiently.

Mostafa Amiri, founder of ZarinPal, which is the first payment aggregator in Iran, providing online solutions, said that financial technology companies in the country were ready to work with regulators.

We need to form a unique voice today, otherwise we would lose the market to foreigners once they enter the Iranian market.

While measures are being put into place to ensure the development of FinTech companies in Iran, many have expressed criticism over current regulations within the country. Amiri added that it is up to the FinTech companies to meet regulators concerns and prevent controversies from taking place.

Sanctions in Iran

Last February, it was reported that while economic sanctions had been lifted against Iran, screening rules were still in place when trading with Iran, putting barriers in place for those within the U.S. and the EU who wanted to conduct bitcoin transactions within the country.

Iran, however, has a long way to go before it can be considered a FinTech hub; however, steps are certainly being made to further improve the country’s standing.

Images from Shutterstock.