Karandaaz Pakistan (“Company”) is a not-for-profit company, set up by UK’s Department for International Development (“DFID”). Incorporated in 2014, Company promotes access to finance for small businesses through a commercially directed investment platform, and financial inclusion for individuals by employing technology enabled digital solutions. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (“BMGF”) has set up a Digital Financial Services Unit within Company for increasing the reach of financial services through the use of innovative digital technologies. The objectives of DFS unit, all of which are aimed at poor, rural, or otherwise excluded population segments are to: 1) Drive government payments onto digital platforms and develop new digital payment use cases for the public sector; 2) Work with commercial providers to test new digital payment innovations; 3) Conduct regulatory and policy analysis and advocacy to address the remaining policy barriers to digital financial inclusion; and 4) Create public goods to accelerate diffusion of best practices and adoption of country level low cost payments infrastructure.
In October 2017, Karandaaz Pakistan, signed an agreement with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for the implementation of a micropayment gateway. The Micropayment Gateway (MPG) will be designed and deployed based on Level One Project Principles (L1P) of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) for specifically processing high volume and low value transactions while offering efficient, robust and economical payment system to the digital financial service providers. The creation of this payment scheme will enable access of financial services for the bottom of the pyramid population. In this Project, Karandaaz in partnership with SBP has made significant progress and poised for further developments.
The consultant will be the primary lead of the ongoing Micro Payment Gateway (MPG) initiative from Karandaaz Pakistan working with Director DFS. The MPG Project constitutes complex work streams and multiple stakeholders. He/She will be responsible for managing the end to end project implementation teams including international implementation consultant firms, payment experts and other key personal.
The consultant will ensure the quality of overall project and oversee functions like project planning, implementation strategies, stakeholder management, payment scheme design, switch procurement and implementation and use case adoption programs. The consultant will also be in-charge of managing relations with multiple stakeholders including senior management of SBP and address all technical concerns related to MPG. The consultant is expected to align organizational and strategic decisions, at the senior management level, within SBP to achieve DFS objectives. This position will perform a key role in the project and will manage resources, and key relationships with internal and external stakeholders for success.
Key Duties and Responsibilities:
- Lead and supervise project team that will include other consultants, SBP and Karandaaz team members responsible for planning, design and execution of project activities in order to ensure smooth delivery of the project plan.
- Work closely on a daily basis with the concerned MPG project team member to provide advice on payment systems and payment schemes, and participate in discussion at senior level with the SBP and other project stakeholders.
- For Karandaaz he/she will lead the role of managing relationship with the payments team at SBP including senior management team members of SBP to understand and align both organizations objectives for the successful implementing of MPG.
- Assist Karandaaz in establishing wider understanding of payment systems and payments schemes that can be used to build thought leadership among all stakeholders and share international best practices on the subject.
- Advise/ Assist/MPG project team for evaluating various payment system models and develop positioning of project team on payment schemes in accordance with the guiding principles of MPG.
- Work closely with the technical project team to provide input for developing bid documents and the evaluation criteria for the procurement of required systems for MPG
- Represent Karandaaz at working groups related but not limited to digital financial systems and national payment infrastructure
- The consultant will be required to provide regular in-person updates to the MPG Project Steering committee, present project progress, and seek decision of the committee on the pending project activities.
- Lead the Project team in presenting the MPG project at different forums and meetings where needed which may include relevant government Ministries, departments and external stakeholders such as financial institutions.
- Responsible for escalating issues, that block or impede progress, in a timely manner to the Project Steering Committee and in consultation with the DFS Director.
Education and Experience
- Master’s Degree in Engineering, Computer Sciences, business administration or related fields required from a renowned national- HEC recognized- or international university. Master’s degree preferred.
- Minimum 15 years of experience in formal financial institution/mobile financial services sector/payment system operators of developed economies or equivalent.
- Strongly prefer relevant lead experience of designing and/or implementing digital payment system architectures such domestic or international payment schemes such as VISA, Mastercard, UPI etc.
- Deep technical understanding among market solutions for payment switches, aggregators, mobile financial services, data integration, fraud and security services, user identity and accounts.
- Having Knowledge and Skill set for understanding mobile money/payments systems/core banking system deployment
- Experience in managing complex projects specifically project involving regulatory bodies such as central bank.
- Experience in managing complex technology projects and teams to on-time and on-budget delivery.
- Should have understanding of open source development and developer community, and should have history of being actively engaged with tech innovators.
- Understands the business benefits of the project and the linkage between the project/program goals and organizational strategy and drivers.
- Understanding of mobile payment solutions/digital payment systems, especially in developing markets, and payment system actors, infrastructure, and regulations.
- Solid knowledge and expertise utilizing project management and change management frameworks for successful project delivery across the project lifecycle.
Skills and Competencies
- Excellent interpersonal skills with an ability to communicate large and complex ideas and recommendations to a diverse set of stakeholders including highly technical and non-technical audience.
- Excellent writing and presentation skills
- Understanding of BMGF Level One Project Principles and shall be able to contextualize it for Pakistan (i.e. Publicly available document)
- Ability to think out of the box and solve critical technology issues and communicate solution/ recommendations to a disparate group of stakeholders.
- Must be self-driven, highly organized and able to work and deliver in a diverse team and startup environment
- Ability to work, or experience having worked in developing countries such as Pakistan.