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. 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.
Today more than ever, incorporating the aforementioned objectives in the design and operation of payment systems 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 payment systems while focusing on standardization, interoperability, and consumer-centricity.
Such a future for the payments 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. Financial inclusion is defined by the World Bank as the ability of individuals and businesses to access the financial products and services they need sustainably and responsibly. 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 payment and transaction products are affordable and meet the needs of different segments. Women, youth, and refugees are significant examples of such segments. For example, Jordan has one of the largest gender gaps in financial inclusion globally. Youth and refugees suffer similarly. Empowering and enabling vulnerable segments through financial inclusion will inadvertently have noticeable positive impacts on the health of local communities and the overall economy and is of strategic importance for us.
Proceeding on this journey of inclusive economic growth and development cannot be deemed successful without the element of 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 towards a digital economy. A digital economy leverages economies of scale to reduce costs on 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.
Maha M. Bahou
Jordan Payments and Clearing Company
Click here for the biography of Maha Bahou.