Empirical evidence has always shown strong correlation between cashless payments and economic growth. With the recent pandemic and the resulting shifts in consumer behavior, ‘contact-free’ payments has emerged as critical enabler shaping the post-crisis economy. What are the benefits of embracing digital payments? What are some of the available contact-free payment technologies and how do they cater for the need of today’s consumers? What makes ecosystems scale fast, and how does the near future of commerce look like?
Hadi Raad is Vice President & Regional Head of Digital Solutions for Visa in Central Europe, Middle East, & Africa. In this space, Hadi is responsible for driving digital commerce, contactless, digital wallets, mobile payments, urban mobility, and the Visa developer platform. Hadi works with stakeholders across the ecosystem including Fintechs, issuers, acquires, and sellers to innovate, develop, and grow commerce in digital form factors driven by security of payments and seamless user experiences. Hadi and his team have managed the launch and growth of Visa’s digital enablement program and tokenization in CEMEA, powering secure mobile wallets and wearable payment options in the region. Before joining Visa, Hadi was Head of Consumer Products Marketing at Google in the Middle East and North Africa, working on market development of Google consumer products, such as YouTube, Android, Maps, Navigation, Chrome, among others. Prior to that, Hadi served as Principal of Booz & Company digital media, telecom, and technology practice in the Middle East and has worked with some of the largest Telecom and Technology companies in the region. Before this, Hadi was engaged in the launch of some of the very first internet access and e-commerce startups in his home country Lebanon. Hadi holds both a Bachelor in Engineering in computers and communication, and a Masters in Engineering Management from the American University of Beirut. He also holds an MBA with high honors distinction from University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.