Sub-Saharan Africa

Digital Transformation of Microfinance and Digitization of Microfinance Services to Deepen Financial Inclusion in Africa

Context: Understand the synergy between digital financial and microfinance institutions in providing access to finance to individuals and small businesses

Objective: The overall objective of this consultancy assignment is to underscore the role of technology in enhancing, efficiency and viability of the microfinance industry in Africa.

Deliverable: Created a report on digital transformation of microfinance and digitization of microfinance services to deepen financial inclusion in Africa. Developed policy and regulatory recommendations that facilitate digital transformation of microfinance services to deepen financial inclusion in Africa and pave the way toward the advancement of strategic collaboration for AFI and its partners in the Africa region

Value Proposition Mapping of the Dairy Value Chain, Uganda 2018

Context: For Digital Financial Services (DFS) payments to be sustainable, each of the businesses and individuals involved must have a sound financial motive for continuing to participate. Value proposition mapping can help determine if, and to what extent, there is value in digitizing payments as perceived by relevant actors.

Objective: In the context of the dairy value chain in Uganda, the project aims to: 1) Estimate the costs and benefits of utilizing DFS 2) Identify pain points in the delivery and use of DFS 3) Propose an implementation plan that will capitalize on the value propositions faced by smallholders, agribusinesses, and financial service providers.

Deliverables: 1)Detailed research work plan 2) Excel VPM models with findings 3) Slide deck summarizing all findings 4) Final report  5) Pilot implementation plan 6) Publishable blog

Development of digital credit and savings product for a Microfinance Institute (MFI) in the Congo (DRC) 2017

Context: The MFI in DRC – in partnership with a mobile network operator (MNO)  – is willing to launch a digital savings and loans product. The MFI is supplying its credit license and manages the savings and credit risk. The MNO is also providing its customer base and its agent network.

Objective: This product will enable instant credit scoring capabilities based on algorithms using enterprise and mobile data sources. One key data set considered will be the customers’ savings behaviors, which is expected to encourage customers to save with the MFI and therefore to mobilize savings, reducing the cost of funding for the institution. The core objective of the involved MNO for the digital credit and savings product is to increase customer acquisition and retention as a means of improving access and provision to affordable alternatives for customers, particularly those in rural areas.

Deliverables: 1) Market research: Perform desk review, Human-Centric Design (HCD) interviews and focus groups to understand client challenges. 2) Product design phase: Help prioritize product features based on customer insights. 3) Go-to-market definition: Define positioning and customer segmentation and elaborate value proposition. 4) Customer experience and product flow prototyping: Conduct Focus groups discussion/prototyping sessions to test early product features. 5) Business case elaboration: Gather Data and elaborate Business modeling and perform sensitivity analysis. 6) Preparation of pilot: Prepare Pilot Roll-out Plan

Evaluate scaling-up financial services delivery program & business case mobile financial service channels in microfinance institutions: Sub-Sahara Africa, 2014 to 2016

Context: In cooperation with The MasterCard Foundation, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is implementing a program intended to accelerate the reach of financial services for the poor in sub-Saharan Africa, through two main work streams. The first aims to support significant scaling up of reach and diversification of product offerings of eight of IFC’s strongest microfinance partners, with an additional two funded under a separate window from the Development Bank of Austria, for a total of 10 MFIs supported by the program. The second focuses on assisting banks and/or mobile network operators to offer financial services at significant scale using alternative delivery channels (ADCs) such as agent and mobile banking channels

Objective: The evaluation will provide the IFC Sub-Saharan Africa Office, the Access to Finance (A2F) Business Line, the MasterCard Foundation and the participating institutions (mainly MFIs and MNOs) with sufficient information to: Make an independent assessment both at mid-term and ex-post about the performance of the Partnership; Identify key lessons and propose recommendations for course correction and follow-up actions; Assess the effectiveness of the Knowledge Management component of the Partnership. Specifically, the paper will analyze how MFIs implement MFS channels with the goal to achieve profitable growth, and document the primary operational and institutional challenges of implementing new channels and key issues for MFIs to consider.

Deliverables: 1a) A theory-based, process orientated mid-term Evaluation of the IFC-MasterCard Foundation Partnership. This Evaluation addresses 5 evaluation criteria: four standard OECD-DAC criteria (relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainability), as well as the standard IFC dimension of additionality. The main aim of this study is to provide recommendations for timely course corrections. 1b) A theory-based, summative final Evaluation of the IFC-MasterCard Foundation Partnership. This Evaluation addresses 6 evaluation criteria: five standard OECD-DAC criteria (relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability), as well as the standard IFC dimension of additionality. 2) Business Case study for MFIs implementing ADCs with the goal to achieve profitable growth. The study collects data, analyze and document the evolution of ADC implementations over the course of their participation in the scaling program.

Urwego Opportunity Bank (UOB) Branchless Banking (mHOSE) Evaluation – Rwanda 2014

Context: UOB launched in 2013 mobile and agent (branchless) banking (mHOSE) for its customers to have better access to UOB savings accounts, allow repayments of loans via the mobile phone, and to offer benefits such as a life insurance and the capacity to transfer money and pay bills, using the mVISA platform. Triple Jump (TJ) wants to evaluate the effects of branchless banking products on an MFI and its clients so that TJ can use the findings to showcase the benefits and promote the use of branchless banking. UOB’s mHOSE was selected as the MFI to test out the Branchless Banking Diagnostic Tool that was developed by PHB in consultation with TJ.

Objective: The objective was to evaluate the effects of branchless banking (BB) for the MFI: Cost of implementation and service delivery; Operational efficiency gains and Safety of staff and cash; Rural outreach and clients satisfaction; Portfolio quality and profitability The other objective for the clients: Cost of accessing products and services; Service quality and customer satisfaction; Social and financial inclusion

Deliverables: Designing the Evaluation matrix and the Diagnostic Tool (for the MFI and for clients); Data collection on the indicators listed in the matrix. Methods used were data mining based on the MIS, interviews with management and staff, focus group discussions and a telephone survey (with 400 clients); Analysis of outputs and results, including the completing the Diagnostic Tool; Formulation of recommendations to improve mHOSE and a prioritization, In close cooperation with UOB; Writing of the detailed case-study and the executive summary (for an article to be published).

Supporting UNGUKA BANK towards the migration into a cost-effective Core Banking Management System (CBMS) 2013 to 2015

Context: In 2011, UNGUKA succeeded in getting the license of microfinance bank. Starting with only two branches (Remera and Nyabugogo), in December 2012, the Institution counted with 18 branches and two outlets; covering an important part of the north-western and central and southern districts.

Objective: Further to extensive discussion with UNGUKA, the institution has requested receiving technical assistance on the selection of a reliable MIS and relevant support throughout the migration process.

Deliverables: Identify the major required modules to be used in the new CBMS by taking into account the current situation and anticipated growth of UNGUKA Bank Ltd within a medium-term period. Support UNGUKA in selecting the CBMS provider which could answer to the needs and expectations of UNGUKA. Support UNGUKA to successfully perform and finalising the migration process towards the new CBMS. Keep standby to UNGUKA in order to make sure the use of the new CBMS is stable.

Using Electronic Payments in the next generation of Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) and Household Asset Building Programme (HABP) Ethiopia – 2014

Context: In early 2013, the Government of Ethiopia indicated its intention to continue a next-generation of the Productive Safety Net Programme, as well as to explore new thinking and ideas in light of federal policy developments since 2010, within the context of National Development Policies.

Objective: (1) Conduct a diagnostic of the current payment system in the PSNP, including reviewing (i) the current payment system in the PSNP, (ii) existing and planned systems for electronic payments through mobile banking, digital banking, and (iii) the commercial banking system in Ethiopia, including the relevant legislation. (2) Present the strengths and weaknesses of each of the systems, and recommend the way forward for payments in the PSNP, considering the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of each of the options.

Deliverables: Interviews with stakeholders: Central Bank of Ethiopia, Microfinance Institutions, Commercial Banks, Telecom provider, etc… In-depth analysis of the different distribution channels: cash/ food/ vouchers/ e-vouchers/ electronic initiatives; Report presented in stakeholders™ workshop (January 2014).

Using Electronic Payments in the next generation of Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) E-Payment Proof of Concept Ethiopia – 2014

Context: In early 2013, the Government of Ethiopia indicated its intention to continue a next-generation of the Productive Safety Net Programme, as well as to explore new thinking and ideas in light of federal policy developments since 2010, within the context of National Development Policies.

Objective: (1) Improving the current system of payments and accounting. (2) Making better use of the commercial banking network that is expanding rapidly across the country. (3) Building on the lessons from the Ethiopia Financial Inclusion Project, which is piloting the use of MFIs and Point of Sale (POS) devices to make payments to beneficiaries. (4) Using mobile banking to make payments.

Deliverables: (1) Scoping mission, detailed design and approvals from stakeholders (Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture, PSNP donors, partnering service providers) for the implementation of a Proof of Concept of using Digital delivery channels for social benefits™ disbursement. (2) Monitoring and evaluation of the field implementation.

Implementation of sustainable savings through multi-channels Malawi 2014

Context: Women’s World Banking is providing technical assistance (with support from UNCDF’s Microlead Expansion program) to NBS Bank on a project to increase access to sustainable demand-driven savings products to low-income Malawians, in particular women and clients living in rural areas.

Objective: The objective of the project is to build a foundation for sustained growth by developing NBSs capacity to target and serve unbanked Malawians with demand-driven savings products and services, thus positioning the Bank as a market leader within Malawi.

Deliverables: Collaborate with Womens World Banking to produce project deliverables required by funder (UNCDF); Strategy recommendations for alternative channel; Implementation plan for reaching scale with agent banking channel; Training materials for agent network and bank staff; Business Acceptance and Friendly User Tests methodology; Action plan to a) prepare and launch pilot, and b) scale agent banking channel; Business case and projections (capex, opex, time to break even, NPV) with scenarios for pricing decisions

Agent Banking Strategy for POS interface and Pilot for FINCA Tanzania 2014

Context: In January 2013, FINCA TZ became the first institution in Tanzania that transformed into a deposit taking Microfinance Company (MFC) regulated by the Bank of Tanzania (BOT). To improve its services and increase its client outreach FINCA TZ implemented an alternative delivery channels strategy starting with mobile payments, which was launched in December 2012; this service was complemented by the launch of a branchless banking point-of-sale (POS) strategy in August 2014.

Objective: To develop a strategy for a POS agent network; To provide start-up assistance of the designed POS agent network model; To transfer know-how, skills, methodologies and tools to the institution in order to enable the staff to manage a full range of mobile banking services.

Deliverables: The most important deliverables were: (i) the agent banking strategy and model; (ii) Staff and agent training materials; (iii) Operations and IT scoping report; (iv) Operations manual; (v) FINCA business case for agent banking; (vi) FINCA agent agreement

Study on Mobile Banking to identify challenges to the regulation of telecommunications services that may have an impact on the supply of MFS in the UEMOA area 2013

Context: This study, as part of the axis of the AFR/017 project “Promoting Inclusive Financial Sectors”, aims to analyze the environment of mobile technologies for an optimized deployment of Mobile Banking solutions in the UEMOA zone. The recommendations of this study will allow the Central Bank of West African Countries (BCEAO) to take upon the challenges and constraints existing in this area.

Objective: The study will be an overview of various existing frameworks for the regulation of telecommunications and databases. This will generally identify weaknesses in the regulation and how to improve these shortcomings, after a thorough diagnostic on practices and existing regulations within the UEMOA zone.

Deliverables: Have an updated reading of the telecom environment and existing Value Added Services (VAS) offers in each UEMOA country; Understand how national telecom regulations deal with the issue of Mobile Banking in West Africa; Identify challenges and regulatory constraints, as well as expected legal evolutions, for an effective deployment of Mobile Banking solutions; Make recommendations helping in the future to dispose for Mobile Banking of reference regulatory frameworks (telecommunications), with regards to telecoms and data protection regulations; Propose an action plan for the harmonization of telecom and personal data protection regulations; Note if there is a synergy between telecom and banking regulations; Elaborate the cartography of regulations; Highlight through the study the aspects related to transparency, pricing and competition in telecom sector (interconnection, USSD).

Business Planning for the cooperation of SMT with Airtel Money in Sierra Leone – 2013

Context: Founded in 2004, SMT is a Microfinance Institution licensed by the Bank of Sierra Leone, providing loans. It is based in Makeni and has 6,000 clients. Cordaid is supporting it with technical assistance.

Objective: SMT’s aim is to start working as an agent of Airtel Money. It requested PHB support for the detailed design and preparation of the Go-Live.

Deliverables: Review of the partnership agreement with Airtel and Regulatory aspects; product roadmap, marketing and branding plan; agent network strategy and plan; Organisation and impacts on processes; IT/MIS scoping; comprehensive business plan; work plan for the pilot and roll out.

Supporting Unguka Bank Ltd towards the migration into a cost-effective Core Banking System in Rwanda – 2013

Context: UNGUKA, a licensed microfinance bank, counted 18 branches and two outlets in December 2012. It has 30,000 clients and its strategic objective is to develop into a commercial bank, with a focus on microfinance.

Objective: Support UNGUKA in the procurement of and migration process towards a new core banking system (CBS).

Deliverables: Diagnostics Report; Business requirements ensuring the linkage with the strategy, products and delivery channels; RFP document; Bid analysis and recommendation on vendor selection; Support of customisation and data migration to the new CBS.

Analytics for Mobile Money, customer adoption & distribution performance in Ghana – 2013

Context: CGAP assists MTN Mobile Money in improving its customer adoption in Ghana.

Objective: Evaluate Mobile Money performance particularly on customer adoption and agent network deployment. Define the required key performance indicators and the improvement actions. Deploy these commercial actions and measure results.

Deliverables: Deployment of online dashboards focusing on the performance of Mobile Money; Deliver a model to select potential adopters and assist MTN to lead the campaign.

Market study Luxembourg-Cap Verde remittance corridor and Developing a Solidarity Savings product to finance MFIs in Cap Verde – 2013

Context: PADFI, a project funded by the Luxembourg government and managed by ADA to support the development of MFIs in Cap Verde, includes a migrant component.

Objective: Design a solidarity savings product for Cap Verdean migrants in Luxembourg to finance MFIs in Cap Verde.

Deliverables: Market study to identify the characteristics of the Cape Verdean diaspora in Luxembourg and their needs for financial services; Develop a solidarity savings product, including partners and structure, leverage mechanism, financial modelling, and reporting and monitoring mechanisms.

Telecom regulation challenges that impact mobile financial services in UEMOA countries – 2013

Context: The Central Bank of West African country wants to develop financial inclusion through mobile and branchless banking.

Objective: Identify the regulatory constraints that impeach mobile operators, financial institutions, and payment service providers to actively develop their services and deployments.

Deliverables: Synthetic presentation of the regulatory constraints mainly related to customer protection, open competition and interoperability, recommendations to overcome them at policy and regulatory levels, as well as with government payment initiatives.

Market study of Senegalese migrants in Spain and product development of remittance-linked products – 2012-2013

Context: Since 2009, PAMECAS, in collaboration with ADA, is promoting the savings of Senegalese migrants. Pamecas wishes to adapt its product and services for migrants residing in Spain.

Objective: Perform a market study about the needs of Senegalese migrants in Spain and suggest improvements for the Pamecas remittance products.

Deliverables: Market study identifying the characteristics of the Senegalese diaspora in Spain and their needs for financial services; Product development plan to improve the current products (features, pricing, operations, promotion, distribution); Financial/business model; Action plan for Implementation.

Roll-out of e-Zwich in rural areas – branchless banking in Ghana 2012-2013

Context: Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems developed e-zwich, a smart card payment system to increase financial inclusion in rural areas.

Objective: Re-position e-zwich on the market and define the role of the banks and merchants in the value chain.

Deliverables: The defined strategy has been implemented and piloted in one region; based on the results, the approach will be rolled-out nationally.

Program Evaluation Wizzit expansion in Southern Africa and Capacity Building – 2012

Context: WIZZIT was supported through a three year IFC advisory services project: providing operational and managerial capacity building, designing a local and regional expansion strategy, and developing a micro-lending product delivered through WIZZIT’s mobile platform.

Objective: Assess the design and delivery of the WIZZIT model and results towards intended outputs and outcomes.

Deliverables: Evaluation outlining the key lessons and improved understanding of the impact on mobile banking uptake in South Africa and how its design can be enhanced to maximize impact; Recommendations for replication elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Mobile Money Transfer Market Study in Sierra Leone 2013

Context: In 2005, Cordaid began supporting the development of the microfinance sector in Sierra Leone (also via MITAF). There are now 13 MFIs in the country, who reach 95,000 loan clients. Mobile financial services have been offered since 2010 (Splash and Airtel Money.

Objective: assess the market demand for mobile money transfer (MMT) and provide advice on the role that MFIs can play in the mobile financial services’ ecosystem.

Deliverables: market research based on desk studies, interviews and focus groups. A value proposition for MMT in Sierra Leone was included and concrete scenarios for how MFIs can become players in the ecosystem. 10 MFI assessment reports on their readiness for MMT were produced and a workshop with the central bank, MFIs and mobile money providers.

Strategy and Implementation for Mobile Financial Services Rwanda

Context: Urwego Opportunity Bank wanted to provide its customers with access to savings accounts and allow repayments of loans via the mobile phone using the mVisa platform.

Objective: ensure the MFI was well prepared, organized and trained to successfully manage the service.

Deliverables: readiness diagnostic; regulatory analysis; market study; business model and implementation plan (cost model, agent network strategy, customer tariff, savings benefits for UOB and its customers); service provider partnering and negotiations; integrating m-banking service into UOB operations; marketing strategy; training support; friendly user testing, KPIs and launch result evaluation.

Implementation and Launch of Mobile Money Services (MMS) in Uganda

Context: Orange needed assistance with the design, implementation, pilot and launch of a new mobile money service in Uganda. A dedicated project manager was seconded by PHB Development to manage the project from inception to completion.

Objective: analyze the market, identify the need, define position in the marketplace and build partnerships to launch service.

Deliverables: instructed processes for regulatory approval; partnerships; product specification; technical development; distribution strategy; operations; organisation; training; finance; UAT and FUT.

Drafting of a Comprehensive Regulatory Framework for E-Money Namibia

Context: Central Bank of Namibia wanted to develop a regulatory framework for mobile and e-money related services that would enable financial inclusion, whilst ensuring appropriate security for payment systems.

Objective: assist the Central Bank to define clear, unambiguous and comprehensive regulations for e-money, governing banks and non-banks.

Deliverables: drafted regulatory framework for e-money and led workshops with stakeholders, including the Central Bank to set the final regulations, guidelines and criteria.

Go to Market Strategy to offer Mobile Financial Services (MFS) in Botswana

Context: beMOBILE, the third largest mobile network operator, wanted to understand the potential in launching mobile financial services.

Objective: provide an assessment of the MFS marketplace, define a market entry strategy and assist in the implementation.

Deliverables: a review of regulatory environment and implications; analysis of market demand (existing alternatives and gap analysis); partnership recommendations (specifically for distribution); product definition and roadmap; marketing plan; financial business case; agent strategy and training; pricing and commissions and project management support.

Program Evaluation Wizzit expansion in Southern Africa and capacity building 2012

Context: The WIZZIT program aims to provide access to low-cost financial services through the use of mobile technology. WIZZIT is currently being supported through a three year IFC advisory services project which focuses on providing operational and managerial capacity building, designing a local and regional expansion strategy, and developing a micro-lending product that will be delivered through WIZZIT.s mobile platform by June 2013.

Objective: The IFC support intends to enable WIZZIT to: Increase its mobile banking product uptake from 270,000 to 600,000 mobile accounts in South Africa; Develop and pilot a micro-credit product to extend access to credit to 500 SMEs; and Expand WIZZIT services to four new markets in Africa, each with 150,000 mobile bank accounts.

Deliverables: The mid-term evaluation of the WIZZIT expansion and capacity building program will provide PEP Africa management and SECO with an assessment of the design and delivery of the WIZZIT model and early results towards intended outputs and outcomes. The evaluation will also outline the key lessons learned from the WIZZIT program to date in order to improve understanding of the impact of this program on mobile banking uptake in South Africa and how its design can be enhanced to maximize impact and for replication elsewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa. The team will evaluate the program in terms of its relevance and rationale, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability. From this assessment, we will also identify key lessons learned. We note that these evaluation criteria are in line with OECD/DAC criteria for evaluating development assistance.

Analysis of the impact of climate change on Microfinance Latin America 2011

Context: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) want to access the impact of climate change on Microfinance environment, …

Objective: Analysis of threats and opportunities of climate change for the Microfinance sector in Latin America.

Deliverables: Review and research on existing the literature. Visit microfinance institutions (MFI) and other actors of the microfinance sector in Peru and Guatemala. Propose recommendations to MFI and Inter-American Bank for Development (IDB). Publish and present key findings at the 2011 FOROMIC (Forum on Microfinance)

Assessment of Mobile Banking Opportunities for MFIs in Rural Areas Madagascar 2011

Context: AFD and the Microfinance Association of Madagascar wanted to analyze the constraints to the development of mobile financial services for clients in rural areas.

Objective: assess the regulatory, technical and economic feasibility for the MFIs to offer mobile banking services, which could contribute to the improvement and supply of financial services for clients in rural areas.

Deliverables: strategic report identifying how MFIs could be involved in different mobile banking business models; workshops organized with over 100 stakeholders from MFIs, the central bank, commercial banks, mobile operators, third-party operators and donors to validate business models and suggested assistance from French Financial Cooperation and other development partners (TA and Financing).

Strategic Positioning of IT Company in the Mobile Payments Market Africa and Indian Ocean Islands

Context: Expand Technology is an IT company specializing in payment solutions that wanted to reposition their products, brand and strategy to enter the mobile payments market.

Objective: lead the strategic repositioning from the private payment industry by offering smart cards to the mobile payments market in African and Indian Ocean Islands.

Deliverables: recommendations on the mobile payment services orientation and proposal on the rebranding, position and deployment of mobile technology solutions.

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