Mastercard appoints Safdar Khan as division president for Southeast Asia

January 13, 2022 | 10:13
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Mastercard announced today that Safdar Khan has been named division president for Southeast Asia. The appointment is an expansion of his former role as division president for the region's emerging markets.

As a 15-year veteran of Mastercard, Khan’s previous role saw him building business momentum with an assertive distribution strategy and revenue expansion by growing the company’s service offerings. He will now be responsible for implementing Mastercard’s multi-rail digital payments agenda in 10 Southeast Asian markets and delivering increased value to the company’s stakeholders.

Mastercard appoints Safdar Khan as division president for Southeast Asia
Safdar Khan

“As one of the most diverse, dynamic regions in the world, Southeast Asia encompasses countries with wide variation in economic development, business needs, and cultural nuances,” said Ari Sarker, president for Asia Pacific at Mastercard. “The leader that oversees this division must have a deep understanding of the bloc as a whole, as well as the individual markets within it, and must also possess the capability to manage these complexities with incredible skill. Safdar Khan, with his rock-solid track record of strong leadership, strategic capabilities, and experience in the region, is ideally suited to take on this position which will give him greater space to push forward with innovative approaches in this group of markets.”

During Khan’s tenure as division president for Southeast Asian Emerging Markets, he was instrumental in launching several firsts in the region, including dual-chip cards and QR-on-Card technology in Vietnam. Under his able leadership, Mastercard has undertaken strategic partnerships in Indonesia to build and sustain local relevance, gaining market share leadership.

Khan also played a key role in taking Mastercard’s cyber and intelligence solutions beyond the payments industry. He was also a key player in the signing of an MoU with Thailand’s Digital Economy Promotion Agency, which inducted 27 Thai cities into Mastercard’s City Possible global network, becoming the largest cohort to join the expanding community of member cities.

“Having worked in markets across the globe, I’ve witnessed the evolution of digital needs for governments, consumers, and businesses. To me, Southeast Asia is the most dynamic landscape for payments technologies,” said Khan.

“Mastercard has helped to drive the rapid shift in consumer behaviour that has seen people across Southeast Asia move at lightning speed from relying on cash to contactless payments, and more recently, mobile payments. This has provided an opportunity to empower individuals and businesses, especially merchants, with innovative payments solutions that enable safer, faster, more convenient options to transact. It has been a pleasure to see the implementation of Mastercard’s solutions making a difference in the lives of people across the region, and especially for micro and small businesses.”

Khan started his career with Mastercard in 2006 and has since held numerous leadership positions across multiple regions, including division president in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei; country manager in Malaysia, Brunei, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait, as well as lead of HSBC Global Key Account for South Asia and the Middle East & Africa.

Before Mastercard, he held pivotal roles in financial services, technology, and e-businesses, in companies such as ABN Amro, Citibank, and Oracle, across North America, Asia, and the Middle East.

By Mai Dang

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