The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is inviting applications from legally registered entities in Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and/or Samoa with innovative agent models, ready for pilot or scale to apply.
UNCDF has partnered with the European Union (EU) and the Organization of Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) to support institutional partners to unlock the potential of Digital Financial Services (DFS) for the resilience of the economies of Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Samoa under the Digital Financial Services for Resilience program.
The program will, among other initiatives, seek to support the pilot and expansion of innovation in DFS distributions with the aim of increasing the usage and access of digital financial services amongst segments currently left behind, such as women, youth, and other vulnerable segments in the low-income groups
Scope of Work
The purpose of this RFA is to select multiple qualified Financial Service Providers (FSPs) (Including banks, financial institutions, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), FinTech’s etc) committed, ready and able to pilot or scale innovative agent distribution models targeting women, youth and other vulnerable groups in Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Samoa to attain the following:
- Demonstrate that distribution channels of digital financial services, when designed and delivered with a rigorous understanding of the low-income and vulnerable group segments in mind, can have an impact on the access and usage of DFS by these marginalized segments.
- Demonstrate that they have a ready-to-go solution for the expansion of access points to other parts of the country other than the countries’ urban areas.
- Develop specific use cases that prove the business case for serving women, youth and the low income segment groups including challenges these segments face in accessing formal financial services.
The proposed intervention shall target financially excluded communities especially in semi urban and rural populations with a special focus on women, youth, and other vulnerable segments.
While grant funding will be applied to initiate the interventions, applicants should propose solutions that can be financially viable once established within 12 months after piloting.
Project areas of focus may include, but are not limited to:
- Agent Network Design: FSP’s that have agent business at the core of their operations. UNCDF will partner with an institution that has a ready-to-go agent model which is easy to replicate, scaleup and viable commercially. The FSP must also have a strong strategy towards increasing female agents.
- Rural and peri-urban expansion: Institutions seeking to expand their agent networks to peri-urban and rural communities targeting the low-income segments in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga & Vanuatu are encouraged to apply.
- Digitalizing agent network operations: use of digital tools to improve agent network performance and efficiency. For example, digital monitoring and quality control, agent selection and network deployment.
- Agent Financing: float lending.
- New use cases: e.g., tax collections, provident fund contribution and disbursements, school fee payments, utility payments, loans disbursements and repayments, social/church contributions, and savings.
- Digital and financial literacy.
- Others (to specify by the applicants)
- UNCDF contributions may be up to 100,000 USD per country.
- Projects are expected to have a 24-month duration. Activities are expected to be terminated no later than December 2023.
- All the three solutions must be operational in the 4 target countries of, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
- The applicant/ lead applicant must be a registered entity and incorporated to operate in one or all the 4 island countries of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.
- The applicant should be operating in any of these countries for at least 1 year.
- The applicant should have audited financial statements for at least 1 year.
- Applicants can apply only once under this RFA, whether independently or in a consortium.
- Applications from consortiums of organizations must show that the partnership was established prior to the submission of the proposal, by showing a consortium or partnership agreement, letter of intent, etc.
- The solution proposed must be implementable with a project duration of max 24 months and ending by December 2023.
- Applicants must contribute at least 30% of the project’s cash costs (costs may include technical infrastructure, resources, and operations).
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