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Lira to turn into regional payment tool

The former Chairman of the Board of Borsa Istanbul stock exchange and the Justice and Development Party (AK Party)’s İzmir deputy İbrahim Turhan noted that they want turn Turkish Lira into a regional instrument of payment. Noting that electronic payment systems had undergone significant developments; physical notes have almost vanished and that a major part of payments are carried out by electronic systems or credit cards, Turhan stated that there are 4 to 5 companies dominating the electronic payment systems market.

Highlighting the importance of healthy operation of payment systems even during crisis, Turhan reminded that in Greece almost all credit card systems had come to a halt. “One of our strategic targets is ensuring that Turkish Lira at least is a regional instrument of payment. Recently, this was almost accomplished right before the geopolitical risks escalated,” said Turhan. A new electronic card payment clearing system, named “TROY,” will be operational from April 1, 2016, according to he Istanbul-based InterBank Card Center (BKM). Electronic payment cards are processed by merchants and then sent to a clearing network that completes the payment. Visa and MasterCard were previously the companies of choice for this operation. But in April 2016, banks operating in Turkey will clear payments with the new national system. Turhan said that to have a Turkey-based electronic payment instrument during such times would be advantage and that this initiative is important in this respect.

However, Turhan reminded that the principle of rationality should be observed and compliance with global economic rules and norms should be established and further, a good governance method along with transparency should be ensured for such an initiative. Turhan also highlighted the importance of user-friendliness of the system to be established and the system’s compliance with generally accepted principles. “If you can’t achieve this, neither the instrument of payment nor the system of payment would be accepted,” added Turhan.

October, 2015