The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) has launched a call for applications for the Feasibility Study for Setting Up a Single Identification System for Financial Service Users in the WAEMU (UEMOA).
The main purpose of this study is to propose an approach of setting up a single system for identifying financial service users in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) that will offer an opportunity to increase the use of electronic means of payment and help to improve financial inclusion.
The approach will include scenarios of implementation and recommendations based on an analysis of advantages and disadvantages. The resources necessary to implement the system will be estimated. Each scenario will be backed by a risk assessment, relating especially to breach of data privacy and cybercrime.
The single identification system for financial service users in the UEMOA aims specifically:
- To give customers of financial institutions a unique user identity, accepted by all financial service providers;
- To improve the quality of data gathered as part of the monitoring of financial inclusion within the UEMOA;
- To act against fraud in the financial system and identity theft;
- To solve the problems of account holders having the same name and customers of more than one bank, both of which introduce bias into the calculation of financial inclusion indicators;
- To simplify the authentication of transactions by means of biometric functions and an identification number valid in all UEMOA countries;
- To reduce customer identification costs and facilitate flows of funds via official channels, especially funds sent between regions, in a context of tougher action against money laundering and terrorism financing;
- To make the operations of UEMOA financial institutions more traceable;
- To target populations more accurately and so make action for people’s financial inclusion more effective;
- To facilitate financial innovations and the development of financial services via mobile platforms.
- The UNCDF contributions may be up to two hundred thousand United States dollars (USD 200,000).
- The duration of the project will be six (6) months.
At the end of the assignment, the following key results are expected:
- A completed inventory backed by in-depth analysis of the identification systems in place in the UEMOA countries, especially government and private-sector initiatives and those of UN agencies and/or technical and financial partners;
- A completed review of at least four (4) international experiments of single identification systems set up, especially, by central banks;
- Descriptions of different scenarios for the set-up of the single identification system in the UEMOA and a proposal for a solution suited to the UEMOA context;
- Description and preconditions of the technical equipment to deploy to make the system operational;
- Evaluation of the essential needs for system set-up and what kind of support is necessary;
- Identification of interdependencies and possible synergies with other ongoing projects within UEMOA;
- A plan for implementing the system and high-level Workplan for its deployment;
- Evaluation of the resources necessary to carry out the project with a defined plan for the implementation;
- Identification of the system regulations, institutional arrangements and governance to put in place;
- The business plan devised for the identification platform.
The deliverables will be categorized as follows.
- A scoping note will be written on how the assignment is to develop. It must focus on the conditions of implementation of the assignment (stakeholders to meet, work plan of activities, countries chosen for benchmark, project team, etc). The note will be submitted to the BCEAO and UNCDF for sign-off with no objection before the assignment begins.
- A report will cover the survey of the single identification systems in place in the UEMOA and the benchmarks in Africa and at the international level.
- There will be a report on the different scenarios of implementation of the single identification system for financial service users in the UEMOA, with recommendations to the BCEAO. It will describe the preconditions to meet, and the technical environment to set up, in each scenario, to make the system operational. These recommendations will enable the BCEAO to pick the option best suited to the UEMOA context.
- The final report of the feasibility study will include an implementation plan backed by a high-level Workplan, recommendations for the regulatory, institutional, and governance framework of the system to be set up, and the business plan.
- The study will be carried out in the UEMOA countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.
Only applications that meet the conditions of eligibility and the minimum application criteria will be scored.
- The Applicant/lead Applicant must be a registered body with at least five (5) years’ trading history. It must have audited accounts in accordance with its articles of association, and financial statements, for at least three (3) years of trading.
- Applicants, whether independent or in a consortium, can only submit one application in response to this RfA.
- Applicants can apply independently or in a consortium, provided that the consortium partnership predates the present Request for Applications.
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