Canada continues to support Iran in fintech venture

Canadian think-tank Digital Finance Institute is selling out on tickets to their fintech conference, which is featuring comprehensive insight into the Iranian finance industry.

Vancouver-based Digital Finance Institute (DFI) and Tehranian start-up Sana Pardakht first joined in 2015 to hold the regions first conference on fintech and innovation on Kish Island, a visa-free economic zone off Iran. Centring on the role of innovation labs for driving technology, Bitcoin, non-traditional finances, renewable energy and emerging payments, the conference explored the potential for Iran to emerge as a finance hub post-sanctions.

This year, the second annual conference from the Canadian think tank sold out in weeks; Iran and Asia will be on the topic list, with Iran again highlighted as an up and coming fintech zone that has been identified as an enormous market of opportunity which can soon become a reality.

“Now that Iran is getting connected to the international financial system, there are all sorts of fintech opportunities that did not exist before. But Iran’s banking system is actually quite modern and the use of debit cards is very pervasive and modern. Their anti-money laundering laws are quite advanced and unique,
 said DFI found Christine Duhaime.

“No other country does this, and it relieves the regulatory burden from bank branches to some extent and allows fintechs to create technologies at the banking sector level without the same level of regulatory burdens that fintech companies face in other countries.”

The Conference agenda will highlight a multitude of current  topics for debate including bank innovation, blockchain technology, RegTech, financial inclusion, security and privacy issues, financing for startups, and mobile payments An exclusive session on markets in Iran and Asia will also be facilitated in a bit to maintain a strategic relationship between the two countries.

Duhaime is confident that the natural entrepreneurial focused culture in Iran will create a successful market that will lead to global developments, stating that around 5 million University students per year are enrolling in STEM-based degrees in Iran.

 “There seems to be a misconception of Iran as not being tech advanced or tech savvy because of sanctions and their economic isolation from the world. But in reality, Iran is incredibly advanced in technology. There are world class technology universities in Iran and more students, including more women per capita, studying in STEM than anywhere else,” said Duhaime.

“Developing a supportive ecosystem for entrepreneurs, innovators and financiers is critical.”