Arab Financial Services appoints new CEO

The AFS Board has announced the appointment of Mr. Samer Soliman as the new CEO from 2 January 2021

  
Mr. Samer Soliman

Mr. Samer Soliman

Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain: Arab Financial Services (AFS), has announced that its incumbent Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr B. Chandrasekhar will be stepping down due to retirement, effective 31 December 2020. The AFS Board has announced the appointment of Mr. Samer Soliman as the new CEO from 2 January 2021.

Mr. Chandrasekhar has served in this role since 2011, and during his tenure has been responsible for significant developments in the AFS business, encompassing major diversification of its business model including, most recently, the establishment of the widely recognized AFS FinTech and Acquiring divisions.

Commenting on this development, AFS Chairman, Mr. Sael Al Waary said: “On behalf of the AFS Board of Directors I extend our sincere thanks to Mr. B Chandrasekar for his dedication, contributions and multiple achievements for the business of AFS over the last nine years – we wish him every success in his future endeavours.”

Mr. Soliman is a strategic leader with over 20 years of international experience across the banking and payments sector, bringing a unique blend of payments, technical, and regional expertise to the role. He has previously served as Network International’s Managing Director for the Group’s Middle East operations, where he was responsible for the regional acquiring and issuing business activities, and for implementing a comprehensive growth strategy across the Middle East. Mr. Soliman is also Board Member of Diners Club Egypt and Levant and Board Member of AUB Acquiring. He sits on the Advisory Board of UnionPay International, representing the Middle East region, and is Board Advisor to Sarwa Digital Wealth Limited and Board Member of SP Jain Global School of Management.

Going forward, he will be responsible for driving forward AFS’ growth strategy whilst ensuring new and existing clients across the Middle East and Africa continue to receive best-in-class, innovative and market-leading digital payments and FinTech solutions from the region’s most trusted payments partner.

Welcoming him, the Chairman said: “The AFS Board of Directors is delighted to welcome Samer as the new AFS Chief Executive Officer. We are confident in his ability to lead AFS and take the Company to new heights. Given his proven track record and expertise, partners and the industry will undoubtedly support AFS’ growth ambitions. We look forward to his pivotal role in implementing the Company’s transformational strategy and setting it firmly on the path to innovation, growth and sustainability for the future. I wish him every success in the role.”

"I am excited to join AFS and look forward to building on its longstanding reputation of empowering businesses and consumers by exploring, innovating, and investing in superior technologies that help shape the future of financial experiences. In today’s rapidly shifting financial services landscape, AFS is geared to take a leading stand in the transformation of payments experiences and services globally.” commented Mr. Samer Soliman.

A subsidiary of Bank ABC, AFS is owned by 37 banks and financial institutions, and serves over 70 clients in more than 20 countries. Today, AFS is the region’s leading digital payment solutions provider and FinTech enabler. Regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain, its ground-breaking, end-to-end payment services and solutions span card processing, Merchant Acquiring, FinTech and a state-of-the-art, value-added services suite. AFS has delivered a rich portfolio of payment solutions including popular digital mobile wallets: bwallet in Bahrain and eFloos in Oman; market-leading Merchant Acquiring services; Bahrain’s leading digital payroll solution Al Rateb; global Contact Centres and more. Providing the highest quality payments solutions that are trusted by businesses, AFS has been recognized as “Best Fintech Company Bahrain 2020” by Global Banking and Finance Review, “Best Fintech Solutions Company 2019” and “The Most Innovative Fintech Solution Provider 2018” at the GCC Enterprise Awards and “Best Payment Service Provider – Bahrain 2017” by Global Banking and Finance Review.

-Ends-

About AFS:

Established in 1984, Arab Financial Services (AFS) is the MEA region’s leading digital payment solutions provider and Fintech enabler.

The company offers innovative and end-to-end payment services and solutions that span card processing, merchant acquiring, Fintech and a state-of-the-art value-added services suite.

Focused on introducing innovative payment products and cutting edge Fintech solutions that support governments on their trajectory towards a digital economy, AFS can empower businesses by exploring and investing in superior technologies that help shape the future of financial experiences and how they are conducted: anytime, anywhere and anyhow.

In 2018, AFS introduced bwallet to the region - the first mobile wallet facilitating peer-to-peer and cashless transactions. Today, bwallet has established itself as the market leader with a significant user and merchant footprint across the Kingdom of Bahrain. EasyPay was another first from AFS - Bahrain’s first NFC payment service allowing payments with a tap of the mobile. Other innovations rolled out by AFS have been electronic KYC, Peer-to-Peer (P2P), Peer-to-Merchant (P2M), QR enabled payments, Tokenization, Remittance, WPS and Digital Banking solutions. AFS also recently launched merchant acquiring services to banks in both Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman including end-to-end platform, settlement, eCommerce and integrated POS devices supporting contactless cards, NFC, QR and other forms of payment acceptance.

AFS serves over 75 clients across the financial sector in more than 20 countries. A subsidiary of Bank ABC, it is owned by 37 banks and financial institutions and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

AFS has offices and data centers in Bahrain, UAE and Oman, and was the first processor in the region to become Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 3.2 certified.

Recipient of several global awards, AFS has been recognized as “Best Fintech Company Bahrain 2020” by Global Banking and Finance Review, “Best Fintech Solutions Company 2019” and “The Most Innovative Fintech Solution Provider 2018” at the GCC Enterprise Awards and “Best Payment Service Provider – Bahrain 2017” by Global Banking and Finance Review. 

For further information visit www.afs.com.bh 

Media enquiries about AFS and its subsidiary companies can be directed to:
Name: Azza Mubarak Matar
Title: Head of Corporate Communications
Email: pr@afs.com.bh
Telephone: +973 1729 9711 / 3965 2012

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