Shaping the future of digital payments in Jordan and Egypt with Leila Serhan

Shaping the future of digital payments in Jordan and Egypt with Leila Serhan
Leila Serhan, senior vice president and group country manager for North Africa, Levant, and Pakistan (NALP). (Photos: Mohammad Abdallah, Jordan News)
DUBAI — In a series of strategic moves in North Africa, the Levant, and Pakistan (NALP), Visa is becoming especially vital in leveraging and pushing forward the digitalized world. Under the leadership of Leila Serhan, these initiatives are both hard and exciting, with a clear objective to drive Visa's development by encouraging cross-sector relationships and aligning with national digital agendas.اضافة اعلان

Digital transformation in Jordan and Egypt: A step forwardSo how is Visa getting there? Financial inclusion.
Serhan emphasized that Jordan and Egypt while facing particularly hard times, came back on top after the COVID-19 Pandemic. This included both governments and Central Banks in implementing digital banking rules, which was a critical step in preserving the economy.

These initiatives not only reduce the cost of banking for impoverished people but also widen the scope of financial services beyond simple transactions.

Visa offers an opportunity to offer bespoke solutions and harness technology to reach clients where they are.

Infrastructure and innovation: the foundation of digital services
Moreover, despite unequal infrastructure distribution the widespread and accessibility of mobile phones has created a unique opportunity for banks. Through this accessibility, where a recent statistic highlighted that 7.41 billion people own cellphones worldwide, Visa focuses on developing accessible solutions, acknowledging the need for financial education alongside technical growth. Initiatives aimed at youth and small enterprises seek to smooth the transition to digital money management by establishing a foundation of knowledge and trust.

Jordan's digital landscape: navigating via innovation
One of the most recent embraces of taking your mobile phone and having accessibility at a click is the Kingdom’s recent embrace of Apple Pay and Google Pay demonstrates its digital aspirations. Serhan outlines Visa's strategy for improving security with AI and risk management technologies, highlighting the relevance of tokenization in transaction protection. The introduction of 'tap to phone' technology demonstrates Visa's dedication to tailoring payment methods to local requirements, assuring security and convenience for both businesses and customers.

The function of super apps and security measures
Serhan recognizes the promise of super applications in Jordan, provided that security problems are handled via comprehensive solutions such as tokenization. The seamless experience provided by technologies such as Apple Pay and Click2Pay demonstrates Visa's emphasis on user convenience while maintaining security.

Enhancing security and trust: a core focus
However, you may be reading this and wondering, okay this is great, but what about security? Security, a critical idea is also highly valued in Visa’s operation with over $10 billion spent annually on security operations, and includes security from the start of product development. This comprehensive strategy goes beyond technology, stressing the need for a safe environment and increased customer awareness.

Tokenization and digital banking: increasing Egypt's financial inclusion
Serhan advocates for an increase in tokenization and digital banking in Egypt, emphasizing the potential to spread digital payment solutions outside large cities. Collaborations with the government and the commercial sector seek to address urgent challenges like as cross-border remittances and subsidy distribution, proving Visa's commitment to financial inclusion and economic development.

Embracing e-wallets in Jordan: A growth strategy
Addressing the popularity of e-wallets in Jordan, Serhan discusses Visa's collaborations with telecom firms such as Orange Money. By incorporating Visa's dispute resolution capabilities into e-wallet transactions, users enjoy an additional layer of fraud protection, boosting confidence in digital payments.

Future collaborations: improving Visa's impact
Serhan promotes existing and planned cooperation with governments and the commercial sector, to improve digital experiences for both consumers and enterprises. Projects such as the citizen card in Port Said and efforts to encourage tourism via digital payments are examples of Visa's diverse approach to helping regional economic growth and digital transformation.

Adapting to challenges: A vision for the digital future
But there is a long road ahead, Serhan, while emphasizing the Visa’s successes, also points out the many issues facing current times such as macroeconomic volatility and the global cybersecurity environment. Visa's proactive security posture, partnership-driven strategy, and technological investment demonstrate the company's commitment to ensuring a resilient, inclusive, and digitally empowered future for the NALP area.

Who is Leila Serhan?
Leila Serhan is now the Senior Vice President and Group Country Manager for the North Africa, Levant, and Pakistan (NALP) area, which includes five regional offices and 15 countries in total. Her primary emphasis is on driving Visa's business development in these regions, working with key stakeholders from financial institutions, government organizations, and partners. This aligns with Visa's broader mission to empower people, companies, and economies.

Serhan brings over twenty years of leadership experience, including a significant tenure at Microsoft where she led the company's public sector business across the Gulf and served as General Manager for North Africa, the Middle East, and Pakistan, to drive digital transformation across various sectors. She is a strong supporter of women's empowerment, co-chairing the Visa Women Network in the CEMEA area, serving as President of the Women in IT Association in Lebanon, and actively supporting regional companies as a Business Angel.

Serhan is a proud alumnus of the American University of Beirut, where she received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration, setting the framework for her successful career.

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