Iran looks into biometric payments to reduce card transactions

Iran is looking into a step-by-step integration of biometric payments and QR codes for better verification and to cut down on the number of daily card transactions, according to Mohammad Mehdi Sadeq, a senior banking executive quoted by the country’s IRNA agency, writes ParsToday.

IRNA figures reveal 2.513 billion card transactions took place in just a month, between August 23 and September 22, 2019, but the banks did not collect any fees.

“Payment through biometric methods like fingerprint is being planned and will be implemented in the future,” said Sadeq. “It is estimated that using mobile phones for payments would increase by 20-30 percent if the fee system is reformed.”

According to the news source, there are almost 7.7 million card readers spread across the country and Iranians make a lot of payments with their debit cards, including for public transportation tickets. Approximately five percent of the machines can read QR codes, and the number is expected to rise to 20 percent by March next year. The fee system would also be reanalyzed to promote the new payment process, but no decision has been made yet.

Iran is not the only country in the region looking into biometric payments. Just last week, Pakistan announced it was integrating a biometric payment solution with its financial assistance program to include poor women. In December 2018, commercial banks in the country introduced biometric verification of millions of account holders to stop corruption and money laundering activities.

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