Associate Director, National Payments Infrastructure

Report to: Director, Digital Financial Services
Location: Islamabad
Application deadline for the position is December 18, 2016

Position Summary
Under its National Payments Infrastructure work stream the Digital Financial Services (DFS) Unit in Karandaaz shall work with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), key infrastructure players, and other stakeholders to advance the creation of public good oriented infrastructure across a range of institutions consistent with Level One principles. This infrastructure shall provide for a low cost, open loop, push-based, robust national payments infrastructure in Pakistan with a key focus on enabling greater financial inclusion. Such infrastructure shall include central payments infrastructure and other initiatives with key partners in the ecosystem with the overall objectives of:

  • Reducing the amount of time and money that poor people must spend to conduct financial transactions;
  • Increasing their capacity to weather financial shocks and capture income generating opportunities; and
  • Creating economy-wide efficiencies by digitally connecting large numbers of poor and low-income people to one another, financial services providers, government services, and businesses.

Karandaaz Pakistan is seeking an Associate Director National Payments Infrastructure (NPI) for implementing a new National Payments Infrastructure in Pakistan consistent with the Level 1 Project guidelines in collaboration with local stakeholders. The Associate Director is a member of the Digital Financial Services (DFS) Team reporting to the Director DFS. The individual will support the Director in developing a NPI strategy and national payments capabilities (technology, infrastructure, partner integration) for Pakistan.

Key Duties and Responsibilities
Karandaaz Pakistan has already started working with the State Bank of Pakistan to formulate the National Payments Gateway (NPG) Strategy. Both the teams aim to develop a National Payments infrastructure that is enabled by shared, open, standard-based components including interoperability services for transfers, and fraud and risk management. Karandaaz Pakistan, in partnership with SBP, sees this as a significant effort in helping the poor access financial services and thereby improving their lives. The cost barriers to reaching the poor with financial services will be reduced substantially with this foundational work, paving the way for more robust commercial efforts to serve the poor and thereby help to create an economy that benefits everyone.
In keeping with its overall goal Karandaaz will generate considerable learning in developing NPI consistent with L1P principles and produce knowledge products to disseminate to the local and global community as public goods. Along with knowledge products such as case studies, blog posts and others Karandaaz will also contribute to global working groups where possible
The following activities will be carried out under this work stream:

  • Develop over the course of FY 2016-17 a set of proposals for establishing a sustainable National Payments Infrastructure;
  • Fund infrastructure needs in collaboration with other donors (where possible) and key stakeholders;
  • Engage with stakeholders for developing payment schemes and use international best practices for establishing the policies and procedures of each scheme;
  • Support the DFS Director in the implementation of the National Payments Infrastructure (NPI) projects and manage stakeholder engagement and policy asks at the SBP, and analysts to assist this project;
  • Establish Project Management Units within the appropriate National Payments Infrastructure Stakeholders to oversee project management and implementation;
  • Developing and scaling public sector-led solutions which leverage Pakistan’s digital identity and payments infrastructure;
  • Supporting the development of the National Payments Infrastructure to foster a competitive and open financial services ecosystem in service of the poor;
  • Write and produce analyses which advance the world’s understanding of how to build a 21st century digital identity and payments architecture and how to leverage this architecture to improve public service delivery and expand digital financial inclusion;
  • Consult with grantees and other partners to maximize impact of projects and ensure optimal learning.

Candidate Profile

  • Master’s Degree in Engineering, Business Administration or equivalent 10-15 years of relevant experience in the banking or digital financial sector with a strong understanding of designs of a national payment scheme.
  • Leadership and project management experience in implementing a national level scheme.
  • An expert in digital financial services policy, regulation and supervision, with a strong engagement at country level combined with global expertise and influence.
  • International experience of working in national scheme space would be an added advantage.
  • In keeping with the nature of the company we are looking for people who are entrepreneurial, energetic, creative, big picture strategic thinkers, and able to get things done.
  • Ability to influence and inspire other senior managers in the company.
  • Demonstrated record of success in managing teams with diverse skills on highly complex and risky, business critical problems in developing economies.
  • Excellent analytical, writing and communication skills.
  • Should be proficient in understanding stakeholder needs and expectations, analyzing the impact of the projects, gaining and maintaining stakeholder support, managing stakeholder communications, and mitigating / channeling stakeholder resistance.


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