Iranian businesses gradually returning to normal amid pandemic

A review of electronic transactions processed during the last calendar month (Jan. 20 - Feb.18) showed that businesses have almost returned to the pre-COVID era in both the volume and value of transactions.

7 March 2021
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A review of electronic transactions processed during the last calendar month (Jan. 20 - Feb.18) showed that businesses have almost returned to the pre-COVID era in both the volume and value of transactions.

Iranians, wearing protective gear amid the COVID-19 pandemic, shop at the Tajrish Bazaar market in the capital Tehran. Photo: AFP

A review of electronic transactions processed during the last calendar month (Jan. 20 - Feb.18) showed that businesses have almost returned to the pre-COVID era in both the volume and value of transactions. 

First cases of coronavirus in Iran was reported in the corresponding month last year. Data released by Shaparak the nationwide electronic payment network- indicates that the number of transactions increased 27% in the month to Feb.18 compared with the same month in 2020. 

Close to 2.93 billion transactions worth 5,091.31 trillion ($20.36 billion) were processed via Shaparak in the month, the highest in the past two years, according to data compiled by the Eghtesad News website. 

Shaparak website said there was a 57.03% hike in transactional value compared to the corresponding period last year largely due to mounting consumer price inflation. 

However, the annual value of transactions too posted a rise when adjusted for inflation. The real value of transactions rose 5.97% during the month compared with the corresponding month last year.

On a monthly basis, the figures indicate 5.01% and 11.59% rise in volume and in value, respectively. 

Increase in the number of payment instruments could be one reason behind the surge in transactions. But the upsurge is partly indicative of the fact that the downturn emanating from corona lockdowns has faded and businesses are gradually returning to normal.  

Data indicates that more than 90% of transactions in the  month were via small payments of less than 5 million rials.  

Spread of the deadly disease worsened conditions across the spectrum of businesses in Iran over the past year. The pandemic hurled economies big and small into recession.

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