Maha M. Bahou
CEO (2018 - Present)
Jordan Payments and Clearing Company
Financial services have undoubtedly kept up with the ever more accelerating pace of technological innovation. With it, the financial landscape has transformed. Across the world, financial technology has gradually become increasingly woven into the daily lives of individuals and entities alike. This has revolutionized financial services and rid consumers of tedious and bureaucratic obstacles in the way of their financial needs. That being said, this transformation has not been felt by all equally. Fintech still holds great potential to help us achieve a more sustainable future, for individuals and for the economy as a whole.
Payment systems represent the infrastructure of the financial sector and, subsequently, the overall economy. By enabling the flow of value across economic agents, payment systems are especially critical for the economy's health. At JoPACC, our central mandate is to manage and operate Jordan's domestic payment systems and drive the provision of advanced and seamless digital financial services and solutions. Our ultimate aim is to do so reliably and scalably while ensuring the containment and management of any risks borne by our portfolio of payment systems and preserving the rights and assets of financial consumers.
Today more than ever, incorporating the aforementioned objectives in the design and operation of payment systems and financial solutions is critical. We at JoPACC are mindful of the increased connectivity, information, and accessibility shaping the world around us. As such, we aim to design our platforms and solutions while focusing on standardization, interoperability, and consumer-centricity. Moreover, JoPACC recognizes that enabling Fintech innovation can enrich the financial ecosystem and drive the adoption of digital financial services. Therefore, we have created a space for Fintech innovators of all types, from students and entrepreneurs to start-ups and financial institutions, to develop and test their innovations on our financial infrastructure. Our Fintech incubator, JOIN Fincubator, offers comprehensive programs that tackle the needs of innovators and gives them access to a pool of business enablers, encompassing access to infrastructure, expertise, partnerships, finance, and ultimately the market. We are committed to paving the way for a comprehensive and enabling digital financial ecosystem and will save no effort to make it a reality.
Such a future for the financial ecosystem looks well within reach. But that is not the case for everyone. Across the globe and in Jordan, different communities experience starkly different realities regarding their financial lives. Financial exclusion costs communities across Jordan opportunities, time, and money. In recognition of its importance in invigorating sustainable growth and stimulating economic growth, JoPACC has taken up the plight towards financial inclusion. In doing so, JoPACC aims to ensure that all society segments have sufficient access to digital financial services and are well aware of them and capable of using them actively and responsibly. While serving all residents of Jordan, we dedicate efforts to reach out to vulnerable and excluded segments, especially refugees, women, and youth, through financial inclusion. These efforts stem from our belief that financial inclusion will inadvertently have noticeable positive impacts on the health of local communities and the overall economy.
Proceeding on this journey of inclusive economic growth and development cannot be deemed successful without sustainability. In particular, environmental sustainability should become a central pillar of financial inclusion efforts globally. Jordan is explicitly a water-poor country, positioned in a region destined to be severely impacted by climate change. This threatens to undo decades of developmental efforts to improve the lives and livelihoods of poor communities across Jordan. As such, the financial sector, including JoPACC, must begin setting green financing policies, practices, and products atop their agenda.
To address all of this, we must appreciate the journey toward a digital economy. A digital economy leverages economies of scale to reduce costs for financial consumers. It is accessible to all, catering to the specific needs of various groups and empowering those that have been conventionally left behind. A digital economy is sustainable and appropriates resources to improve the quality of life of individuals. Regardless of all of the above, a digital economy is coming. We at JoPACC are dedicating all of our efforts to ensure that the digital economy we create makes all of Jordan’s residents proud and elevates their well-being.
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