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SAUDI ARABIA - Finance

Ali Bailoun

GM GCC cluster of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Oman, Visa

Bio

Ali Bailoun is an accomplished business leader with 20 years of experience in payments, banking and management. He joined Visa in 2012. Overseeing Visa’s overall strategy in Saudi Arabia and driving growth across the company’s portfolio in the Kingdom, Bailoun helps issuers, acquirers, merchants and governments in key markets improve profitability and grow their business.

"Visa is committed to supporting Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to develop a strong digital payments infrastructure, while meeting consumer demand for frictionless, secure payments."
Visa is working toward its goal of ensuring that all businesses, big and small, are well equipped with simple, cost-effective solutions in a digital world.
How is Visa supporting Saudi Vision 2030’s goal of reducing dependency on cash?

Visa is committed to supporting Saudi Arabia’s ambitions to develop a strong digital payments infrastructure, while meeting consumer demand for frictionless, secure payments. We work closely with banks, the government, and fintech partners to introduce innovative, frictionless, secure, and rewarding solutions to support the Kingdom’s transition to a cashless economy in line with Vision 2030. These include solutions such as Click to Pay, which helps consumers make fast, secure online purchases from various merchants and platforms, in addition to Tap-to-Phone, a low-cost mobile acceptance solution which can turn a merchant’s mobile phone into a payment terminal, providing them with an easy, cost-effective way to accept contactless payments. We are also working with fintechs to provide easy-to-implement payment solutions for small businesses. Visa will continue to roll out new programs and resources that advance its commitment to digitally empowering SMBs and supporting business resilience. Furthermore, we will bolster our efforts to further gain Saudi consumers’ trust in the digital payments landscape through our campaigns.

Visa partnered with Fintech Saudi for the event Visa Everywhere Initiative. How does this initiative foster and support fintech and payment start-ups in Saudi Arabia?

As a trusted engine behind commerce, Visa strives to work with every part of the payment ecosystem in Saudi Arabia, including fintechs. We launched our Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) 2022 for fintechs and start-ups in the Kingdom, empowering them to showcase their groundbreaking solutions and address key future payment challenges. Enabling fintechs to collaborate with banks or working alongside bank partners to drive the adoption of digital payments all fit within the realm of Visa’s network of networks strategy to bring innovation, trust, reliability, and interoperability standards to the wider payments ecosystem.

How does Visa address the issue of security in e-commerce, constantly ensuring safe and reliable operations?

The acceleration of digitalization has brought many benefits to consumers. However, the pandemic has presented cybercriminals with the perfect opportunity to commit internet fraud and financial theft. Security is a collective effort, and at Visa we work tirelessly with our partners and stakeholders to build a strong foundation to meet merchant and consumer need for security, reliability, convenience, and trust. We strongly believe that, in order to increase consumer trust in digital payments and promote safe online payment practices, education is key. That is why Visa conducts education programs in Saudi Arabia as part of our annual Stay Secure education campaign and consumer survey. This helps us to understand consumers’ views, preferences, and security concerns about digital payments and provide them with tips on how to protect themselves when shopping online, while offering valuable insights to help merchants better understand their customers’ needs. Based on our findings, we advise merchants on the right steps to build consumer trust. We also have a dedicated Stay Secure page which offers consumers tips on how to protect themselves against fraudsters. Visa has also introduced pioneering security solutions to enable frictionless, secure digital commerce such as Visa Secure, a risk-based authentication process which eliminates the need for most cardholders to enter passwords to complete their online purchases, resulting in fewer steps at checkout and less false declines.

How are you guiding SMEs through the digital revolution, educating them about the benefits and importance of cashless transactions?

Visa’s top priority has been to help small businesses keep pace with a world that is rapidly evolving. We work closely with banks, the government, and fintech partners in line with Vision 2030 to develop tailored digital payments solutions that meet the needs of businesses and consumers alike. Over the past year, we have also focused on ensuring that small businesses had more tools and cost-effective solutions to weather the storm and even emerge stronger. We have achieved this by introducing new programs and resources to digitally empower small businesses and support business resilience. 6

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