The Modern Integrated Payment System: The Iran Experience to Date
The payment system is a mechanism which enables cash-transfer (electronically) from one account to another regardless the location of the holding branch of each account. An integrated payment system covers all the inter-banking payments in a synchronized and continuous structure, and includes Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), Automatic Clearing House (ACH), and the Scrip less Securities Settlement System (SSSS).The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in order to play its role and to fulfill its responsibilities, has pursued the establishment and implementation of the real time gross settlement system (RTGS) as the main infrastructure of settlement, while also has developed the electronic inter-banking billing system (Sahab) to offer a variety of real time cash-transfer for small payments. These two infrastructures will be fully in operation by the end of the current year. The ACH and SSSS systems will also be considered in the next phase, in which the operating priority is connecting such systems to the RTGS system. The purpose of this article is to study the status and characteristics of electronic banking and the method of implementing it in Iran. Also, it is concluded, considering the significant increase in the successful transactions in the Shetab center and, the outstanding performance of the payment orders in RTGS, the hardware and software performance of the banks are after all satisfactory. However, despite the trivial proceedings made in such development of the electronic banking, there still exist some obstacles and difficulties which, are fully addressed in the following article.