TEHRAN, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Iran and Russia are in the testing process to integrate their banking payment systems, IRAN Daily reported Tuesday.
Both sides are negotiating over a formal accord between their central banks to remove legal issues, Davood Mohammad Beigi, director of the Payment System Department of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI), was quoted as saying.
"At present, Iran has the closest ties with Russia in the field of international credit cards and good measures have been taken in technical terms in recent months," Beigi said.
The two countries are expected to cooperate on magnetic cards, he said.
"They will be normal debit cards which can be used by the customers abroad," the director noted.
"With respect to the rate agreed between the customer and the bank, the (Russian) bank pays the amount in a foreign currency and will withdraw the equal amount in rials from the person's bank account," Beigi explained.
In October, it was announced that the first stage of integrating the banking payment systems of Iran and Russia would be implemented in the next three months.
"Iranian citizens who have a Shetab (Iran's national payment system) card and Russians who own Mir Business Bank cards would be able to use ATMs of both countries," said Seyyed Abu-Taleb Najafi, an official with Iran's banking affairs.
According to the official, the next phase of the plan would be to integrate Iran's payment system with international networks, which requires strong infrastructure on par with international standards.
"We are preparing the necessary infrastructural requirements for implementing the next phase of the plan by establishing a network in cooperation with Russian company BPC," he said.
By establishing these infrastructures, Iran would be ready for agreements with international payment networks and other countries' banks for integration of payment systems, Najafi said.
The process of building infrastructures for integration with international payment systems would take at least 10-12 months, he added.