Request for Proposals: Window One- Building Pervasive Agent Networks at Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA)

Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA)

Request for Proposals: Window One

EFInA Innovation Grant Round 6

Window 1: Building Pervasive Agent Networks

All applicants can apply for Window 1 or Window 2 or both, if applicable.

EFInA is pleased to announce its sixth request for proposals (RFP 6) for the Innovation Grant. RFP 6 has two windows. Window One will only consider proposals that aim to build pervasive agent networks in rural areas, in order to enhance financial access points and thereby significantly increase the uptake and usage of formal financial products/services by the low income population.

  1. Background information: building agent networks

According to the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey, 59.8 million adults (63.9% of the adult population) live in rural areas. Of these, 28.6 million adults (47.8% of the rural population) are financially excluded. This compares with 8.4 million adults (24.8% of the urban population) living in urban areas.

Proximity to financial access points continues to be a barrier to accessing formal financial services. The FSP Geospatial Interactive Map 2012 revealed that there are 16,746 financial services locations in Nigeria, of which only 3,275 (20.0% of total access points) are mobile money agents. Of the total mobile money agents, only 952 (29.1% of mobile money agents) are located in rural areas. Furthermore, according to the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey, 57.1 million adults have never had a deposit money bank account. Of these, 9.5 million adults (16.7% of adults without a deposit money bank account) cite “banks being too far from where they live or work” as a reason for not having a deposit money bank account. 89.0 million Adults have never had a microfinance account. Of these, 8.6 million adults (9.7% of adults without a microfinance bank account) also cite “banks being too far from where they live or work” as a reason for not having a microfinance bank account

In addition, 68.6 million adults (73.4% of the adult population) are not aware of bank agents. In order to ensure that customers conduct financial transactions at agents locations, providers will need to develop and implement effective awareness campaigns.

Most respondents are aware of the location of the nearest provision shop and pharmacy to their homes. Therefore, these two outlets provide the greatest potential for offering financial services. All adults living in the rural areas are aware of the nearest provision shop; 78.3% live within 10 minutes of a provision shop. On the other hand, 62.2% of adults living in rural areas are aware of the nearest pharmacy; of those that are aware, 67.9% live within 10 minutes of a pharmacy.

As a result of these findings, EFInA is seeking to increase the establishment of pervasive agent networks in rural areas. Applicants should provide a compelling proposition for expanding and scaling agent banking services in rural areas in order to increase access to formal financial products/services for the low income population. Applications must include a viable and sustainable agent proposition that will encourage the uptake and usage of formal financial products.

  1. What is EFInA looking for?

Window 1: Building Agent Networks

(i.)     Applicants must have a track record of success for building viable agent networks

(ii.)    Applicants must ensure that the agents are active and have the tools to effectively monitor their activities

(iii.)   Applicants should be able to demonstrate that they have experience with strategic partnerships that have led to successful implementation of projects

(iv.)   Applicants will be encouraged to work with diverse institutions to develop and roll-out shared agent networks, especially in rural areas

(v.)    Applicants should have the capacity to implement the proposed project and demonstrate sustainable impact within 24 months

(vi.)   Applicants must provide compelling agent value propositions

(v.)    Applicants must provide effective strategies for increasing the uptake and usage of formal financial services by the low income population

(vi.)   Applicants must develop effective customer awareness campaigns that demonstrate the benefits of the products/services offered and provide information on agent locations

(vii.)  Applicants must provide evidence that they have the resources to match 50% of EFInA’s grant funding

  1. Who can apply?

Window 1: Building Agent Networks

(i.)     Licensed Financial Institutions (e.g., Deposit Money Banks, Microfinance Banks, Insurance Providers, etc.)

(ii.)    Licensed Mobile Money Operators

(iii.)   Mobile Network Operators

(iv.)   Super Agents

Partnerships with relevant organisations are encouraged

Criteria Building Agent Networks Weighting
A.   Viable Business Case
  • Is the proposed project backed by market research and data?
  • Is the business case for the proposed project sound and realistic?
  • Is there a clear value proposition for customers in the rural areas?
  • Is there a clear value proposition for agents in the rural areas?
  • Can the organisation provide a description of the range of products/services they will offer?
  • Does the proposal provide evidence for recruiting, on-boarding and sustaining active agents?
  • Are the project timelines and targets realistic and achievable?
  • Has the organisation anticipated and sufficiently planned for project risks?
  • Will the project achieve scale (in terms of number of customers served and agents recruited)?
  • Does the project target female agents?
25%
B. Geographic Reach
  • Will the proposed project lead to deepening financial inclusion among Nigerians living in rural areas?
  • Will the proposed project lead to deepening financial inclusion in the North East or North West geo-political zones?
  • How many Local Government Areas (LGAs) in each proposed state will be served by agents?
20%
C. Developmental Impact
  • Do the proposed products/services provide a compelling use case for the low income population in rural areas?
  • Do the proposed products/services have the potential to significantly reduce financial exclusion in the rural areas?
  • Does the proposed project have the potential to create new jobs within the rural communities?
15%
D.     Capacity to Implement
  •  Does the proposed project team have prior experience in successfully managing a project of similar magnitude/complexity?
  • Has the proposed project been successfully piloted, researched or implemented by the applicant?
  • Does the proposed team have expertise in building and managing agent networks?
  • Does the proposed team have experience in implementing financial inclusion related projects?
  • Is the applicant considering applying for a super-agent license?
15%
E. Consumer Protection, Awareness and Education
  • Does the organisation have a strong customer service function? Will customer service be offered in multiple languages?
  • Can the organisation provide details on pricing, terms and conditions for customers and how they will ensure that they are fair and transparent?
  • Can the organisation provide details of the agent incentive structure and evidence that the incentives are transparent?
  • Does the organisation have an effective and efficient customer redress system?
  • Will the promotional materials be customised to the languages spoken by customers in the agent locations?
  • What is the plan for educating customers on the benefits of the products/services offered?
  • How will the organisation ensure that the technology platform utilised is secure and consumer data is protected?
10%
F. Sustainability
  • Has the organisation provided evidence that it can continue to offer these products/services after EFInA funding have been fully disbursed
  • Is the Board of the organisation committed to implementing this project (in terms of strategic direction, funding and other resources needed) for the proposed project duration?
10%
G. Innovation
  • Is the proposed agent network strategy substantially different from what is already being offered in the market?
  • Is the innovation scalable to other regions in Nigeria?
  • Will the proposed project contribute to furthering the financial inclusion agenda in Nigeria?
5%
  1. How to apply

All applicants must complete the Innovation Grant Application Form and Templates. For further information on the application and submission process, please visit: http://www.efina.org.ng/innovationRFP

All completed grant application forms, templates and required documentation should be submitted to the EFInA Grants Team at innovation@efina.org.ng by 6:00pm on Monday May 11th, 2015. EFInA will notify all applicants of the outcome of their applications by Friday, August 14, 2015.