Government source: Issuing electronic cards to small merchants in Iraq

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Government source: Issuing electronic cards to small merchants in Iraq

According to a government source with knowledge, electronic payment providers have started providing small businesses with cards that have a monthly financial cap of $100,000 for import reasons.

“A mechanism for issuing electronic cards to small merchants has been approved, with a ceiling of $100,000 per month for implementation,” the source said, citing Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani’s directives and discussions conducted for more than two months between the government, the Central Bank of Iraq, and electronic payment companies. “Payment operations for import purposes guarantee that real merchants’ demand for cash dollars is reduced.”

“Payment companies will submit a request to the Central Bank to obtain approval to create this product and launch the (merchant) card,” he continued. “This is the new mechanism.”

“The uses of the cards will be determined for small merchants in line with the external transfer controls issued by the Central Bank for the year 2023,” he said, “with the possibility of raising the ceiling in the future in light of the results of the actual implementation.” The monthly ceiling for these cards cannot exceed $100,000.

According to pre-established white lists, the cards are only used to make purchases from reputable vendors of products and services.

The primary international ban lists maintained by the European Union, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the United Nations are the most significant of these criteria, he said. “The company bears its duty to apply due diligence and in accordance with basic requirements.”

“The money of small merchants is deposited in the branches of various Iraqi banks in Iraqi dinars,” he said in closing.