Case Study – BankservAfrica

Who is BankservAfrica?

BankservAfrica is a leading automated clearing house in Africa and provides interbank switching, clearing and settlement services to the South African banking sector in the context of its role as a Payment Clearing House System Operator (PSO) as authorised by the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA). The company, which has been designated as a systemically important payment system financial market infrastructure by the National Payment System Department (NPSD) of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), facilitates interbank payment transactions for the payment streams for which it is appointed as the PSO in a properly regulated system that is compliant with international banking best practice and standards, while reducing risk and complexity in the industry.

In addition to its role as a PSO in the domestic payments landscape, BankservAfrica has been appointed as the Regional Clearing and Settlement Operator (RCSO) for the SADC region and is also a technical service provider to a payment service provider in the DRC.BankservAfrica is a leading automated clearing house in Africa and provides interbank switching, clearing and settlement services to the South African banking sector in the context of its role as a Payment Clearing House System Operator (PSO) as authorised by the Payments Association of South Africa (PASA). The company, which has been designated as a systemically important payment system financial market infrastructure by the National Payment System Department (NPSD) of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), facilitates interbank payment transactions for the payment streams for which it is appointed as the PSO in a properly regulated system that is compliant with international banking best practice and standards, while reducing risk and complexity in the industry. In addition to its role as a PSO in the domestic payments landscape, BankservAfrica has been appointed as the Regional Clearing and Settlement Operator (RCSO) for the SADC region and is also a technical service provider to a payment service provider in the DRC.

The BankservAfrica Stakeholder Relationship Assessment Journey

In 2017, BankservAfrica undertook an exercise to identify the strength of their relationships with their key stakeholders: regulators, customers, and industry associations. After going through a process to identify the most appropriate service provider for the task, they settled upon SRA (Pty) Ltd as they recognised that SRA’s SRC360™ framework was the most appropriate assessment methodology for their needs.

The one divergence that BankservAfrica had from our traditional assessment programme was that they had requested that a member of BankservAfrica’s management team would sit in for every interview. We were initially reluctant about the request to have a representative of BankservAfrica at the interviews; we have always conducted the assessment interviews without the involvement of our clients as we’d always felt that the interviewees would be reluctant to respond objectively and authentically to the questions about the relationship in front of a representative of the organisation that they were being interviewed about.

To our surprise, we found that the presence of the BankservAfrica member of management actually served to enhance the interview process. In addition to being able to contextualise the interview questions and to serve as a frame of reference that could assist our interviewers in decoding industry jargon, we’d found that the interviewees not in the least concerned about the presence of the BankservAfrica employee and proceeded to respond in as authentic and disaffected manner as though they were not in the room – thereby demonstrating the strength of the relationships and the awareness by the interviewees that BankservAfrica’s intention behind this exercise was to genuinely address issues of concern and not to just tick a box.

This became clearer to us over the years as we’d found that BankservAfrica had implemented a Remediation Programme under the auspices of the Stakeholder Engagement unit, with the purpose of addressing the issues that came up as being a cause for concern for the interviewees and to track the success of these remediation steps, as well as providing a report on the outcome of the interventions to the relevant stakeholders. The outcome of this Remediation Programme was that the overall external stakeholder scores improved by 12 points from the 2018 assessment to the 2020 assessment.

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