Iran Bypasses SWIFT with its Own SEPAM Interbank Clearing System

  • Bureau
  • 02:08 PM, February 2, 2023
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Iran Bypasses SWIFT with its Own SEPAM Interbank Clearing System

Iran has reportedly managed to obviate the need for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) by implementing SEPAM, its own financial telecommunications system.

Mohsen Karimi, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Iran for international affairs, told the semi-official Tasnim News Agency that Iranian banks do not need to use SWIFT for financial transactions anymore. He said all banks across Russia, all branches of Russian banks in other countries with access to SPFS (a Russian equivalent of the SWIFT financial transfer system) and 106 non-Russian banks in 13 countries are now connected to SEPAM.

Since the Russian system for the transfer of financial messages - SPFS - has been linked with Iran’s SEPAM, whoever has access to the Russian network can now connect with Iranian banks, and vice versa, he added.

Karimi explained that messages between SEPAM and SPFS are sent on the basis of the SWIFT standards.

In October 2022, the Russian Trade Representative in Iran, Rustam Zhiganshin, had unveiled plans for the launch of an analog of the SWIFT bank-to-bank information and payment system between Russia and Iran.

Currently, trade and economic ties between Russia and Iran are growing. Between January and July 2022, the bilateral trade turnover increased by 44.9% year over year and totaled $2.8 billion.

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