Helping to define a cross-border payment framework for SADC
Shaun Seboa is the current Head for Strategic Payments at Nedbank Namibia. His career within the banking landscape stretches back to 2001 where he started out as a teller. Over the years, Shaun patiently worked his way through the breadth of the retail branch functions, moving from Sales to Administration, and later to Credit and Collateral. In 2004, he changed course in his banking career and moved into the ATM Division, and later progressed to the Electronic Channels space that include Cell phone and Internet Banking.
“During 2012, I got the opportunity to shape and define a Strategic Business Development department, with a focus on electronic channels, whilst still caretaking the Channel support departments. In March 2015, I joined the best bank (Nedbank) as Electronic Banking Manager, and got the opportunity to move to Strategic Payments in March 2016, where I find myself today.”
Academically, Shaun is a noted manager and leader, with qualifications in leadership, banking and finance. “I currently have a subject in hand to obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management,” he said.
Based on this extensive banking experience and knowledge, Shaun was recently nominated by the Namibian banking community to represent Namibia on the Committee of the SADC Payment Scheme Management Body (PSMB). He explains how this nomination came about, what it entails and how it benefits Namibia:
You were recently nominated by the Namibian banking community to represent our country on the PSMB Committee. First of all, what is the PSMB and how did your nomination come about?
I entered the Payments space in Nedbank in March 2016, serving on the Payments Association of Namibia (PAN) Management Council, and various other forums and sub-committees.
In terms of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) Finance and Investment Protocol (FIP), the Committee of Central Bank Governors (CCBG) has undertaken to, amongst other things, facilitate cross border payments in SADC. To this end, the SADC Payments System Project Team (the project team) as the CCBG group responsible for payment systems, has initiated a process to develop a framework for an integrated regional payment environment.
Subsequently, I was selected by my industry peers as being fit to represent Namibia on the PSMB. The requirements are that the nominee be of good standing in the local banking industry, have the necessary business and or technical knowledge of the type of payments concerned and also preferably possess suitable academic or vocational qualifications. After being selected my nomination was ratified by the SADC Nomination and Governance Committee.
How will the SADC Payment Scheme Management Body (PSMB) benefit Namibia?
The SADC Payments System Project Team is made up of individual delegates from each member country providing commercial banks in SADC with the opportunity to inform the development of financial market infrastructure in support of their framework for an integrated regional payment environment.
Being in the cooperative (non-competitive) space, the focus of our interventions are defining payments instruments, business rules, and messaging standards for interbank use. The goal is to ensure efforts translate to improved customer service, cost reductions, and efficiencies in the cross border payment environment, to the benefit of Namibian and SADC clients.
Ultimately, Namibian clients would be able to transact with ease, safety, convenience and at a reasonable price within SADC. While all SADC countries are eligible for membership, the following countries are participating in the project at this stage: the Bankers Association of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and select members of the Tanzania Bankers Association.
What will your responsibilities be in your role as committee member?
In layman’s terms, my role will be to contribute to the development of the SADC Payments frameworks, by providing the Namibian perspective, and the redistribution of feedback back into the Namibian banking industry. This will be enabled by interacting with industry stakeholders and forums with an interest in the SADC Payments Scheme.
What is currently on the agenda of the PSMB?
I am yet to review all documentation provided on the PSMB’s activities, but the following items are garnering attention currently: Mobile money, SADC Payment System Model Law, SIRESS (SADC Integrated Regional Electronic Settlement System) currency of settlement, the replacement of the old Correspondent Banking relationships with SIRESS, SIRESS Pricing, SADC EFT Credit Retail Transactions Settlement in SIRESS and Cyber security.
How often will the SADC PSMB report back in terms of progress?
The PSMB meets three times a year, after which I will provide the necessary feedback. However, there may be items discussed on an ad-hoc basis from time to time. The frequency of feedback would depend on activities that are currently underway.
How will being a PSMB committee member affect your roles at Nedbank?
This would add an additional focus area to my current role in payments, but is seen as an extension of payments. I have 100 percent backing and support from my employer as well as my industry peers, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.