The Financial Lives Survey, conducted in Sierra Leone in 2017-2018, indicates that government employees who received their salaries in bank accounts can be encouraged to avail of digital financial services instead of cashing out. Bulk payment in rural areas can be used to build a business case for digital financial services.
Government employees face significant discomfort with existing solutions to access their salaries and conduct financial transactions. They are aware of the importance of savings and investments, but are unable to generate surplus for traditional savings options. Their distance from brick-and-mortar banks branches is also a deterrent. Not surprisingly, they are aware of and use mobile money.
The objective of this Request for Applications (RfA) is to pilot three use case solutions to create market incentives and supporting ecosystem for digital financial services in rural areas where government employees receive their salaries. The three use cases include: (i) a remittance solution, (ii) a one-stop-shop payment solution, and (iii) a micro-savings solution. UNCDF is seeking applications from a consortium of organizations to design and implement the use cases. The consortium of a network provider (such as an MNO) and a regulated financial intermediary (such as a bank or Other Financial institution (OFI)). The participation of FinTechs and other partners is encouraged.
This initiative is led by the Bank of Sierra Leone and the Office of the Accountant General at the Ministry of Finance, in partnership with the Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) project at UNCDF with support from USAID.
Timeline: The overall duration of the work is expected to take up to 8 months.
Applications and RFA Calendar
- Publication date: 3 April 2018
- Deadline to submit the request for clarification: 12 April 2018
- Publication of Questions and Answers Document Q&A: 14 April 2018
- Final deadline for applications: 30 April 2018
Applications can be submitted to address one, two of the three use cases detailed in the RFA.
You may send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org A FAQ document will be generated based on enquiries received on or before the 12 of April 2018. The FAQs will be posted on the UNCDF website shortly thereafter by the 14 of April 2018. Applications should be returned to the UNCDF by email at email@example.com no later than midnight on 30 of April 2018 18 :00 pm GMT. Applications must follow the submission format as outlined in Annex 1 of this RfA.
PBA Grant Agreement