Thousands apply for Iranian credit cards as consumer boom heats up

Valiollah Seif Governor Central Bank of IranIranian credit cards: More than 12.000 Iranians rushed to apply for credit cards yesterday as its Central Bank authorised their issue for the first time in the country’s history. But despite this demonstration of pent-up demand, the bank’s Governor Valiollah Seif warned that it could take some time before the country’s banks get used to the new system. “It would be incorrect to think that these cards will be used quickly within the banking network,” he said.
Ayandeh Bank IranSo far only two banks – Bank Melli Iran and Ayandeh Bank– are reported to have started issuing the cards which are being issued with three alternative credit ceilings of approximately $3,000, $10,000 and $15,000 and which can be used for both online and in-shop purchases. They have been designed to comply with Murabahah, the Islamic financing structure whereby each purchase made by a customer is bought by the bank and then sold back on a cost-plus profit basis, initially at a fixed rate of 18%. Consumers will be able to pay off each purchase in 36 monthly instalments.
iranian woman buying laptopFuelled by the country’s economic resurgence in the wake of the West’s decision to lift sanctions imposed because of Iran’s nuclear programme, consumer spending in Iran is expected to grow from an estimated $55.57bn this year to $78.3bn by 2020, but the authorities in Tehran are becoming increasingly frustrated with the West’s reluctance to help it overhaul its outdate banking structure and recently accused the US Treasury of actively discouraging US and European banks from participating in the process. 

Source: presstv