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 said.
Credit and debit cards, accepted in more than Protected content where MasterCard is valid, will be distributed at financial branches of the Iran Postal Service as of August 23, which coincides with the beginning of Government Week, he said.
It follows an agreement signed between a representative of MasterCard and Iran Postal Service, allowing Iranians to make payment transactions while traveling abroad, buy articles from foreign publications, or attend international conferences, Vaezi said.
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 the instant messaging app Telegram through which it sent posts in Persian “to attract Iranian users to its services.”
It added that MasterCard advertised on its channel, a 24-hour voicemail, which responded to Iranian customers in Persian.
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.
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.