Request For Proposals: Window Two Promoting the Uptake and Usage of Digital Financial Services by Women

Request For Proposals: Window Two

EfInA Innovation Grant Round 6

Window 2: Promoting the Uptake and Usage of Digital Financial Services by Women

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 Two will only consider proposals that aim to promote the uptake and usage of digital financial services by women. Digital Financial Services (DFS) are the range of financial products/services that people can access electronically, e.g., through their mobile phones. Paying for the following financial transactions will be considered: goods and services, utility bills, hospital bills, insurance, school fees, pensions, etc; as well as government-to-person payments; sending/receiving money; saving money; and loan disbursements/repayments.

  1. Background information: digital financial services for women

The EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey’ revealed that women are less likely to be banked, more likely to rely on informal financial services, and more likely to be financially excluded than men. Only 14.7 million women (29.4% of total adult women) compared with 19.2 million men (44.1 % of total adult men) are banked. Of the total adult women population, 21.9 million are formally included, 6.7 million use only informal products, and 21.4 million are financially excluded. One of the key reasons for women not having a bank account is that “banks are too far from where they live/work.’This is cited as a barrier by 4.9 million women without a deposit money bank account and 4.1 million women without a microfinance bank account.

Of the women who are currently financially excluded, 14.9 million (69.9% of financially excluded women) are interested in financial matters. The top three financial topics that they are interested in are: how to save regularly, how to open a bank account, and how to save for old age.

Digital financial services present a unique opportunity to reach women, who are often time-poor, less able than men to travel to bank branches, less likely to leave their place of work/business to conduct financial transactions. Women also value convenience and privacy when managing money. 28.6 million Women (58.0% of total adult women) own a mobile phone. Furthermore, 7.3 million women who are financially excluded own a mobile phone.

EFInA is seeking to fund projects that will extend digital financial services to women in Nigeria. Successful applications will provide a compelling use case that meets the needs of women by offering different products through a range of channels and financial access points.

In addition, applicants should include a detailed plan for customer education on the benefits of digital channels for conducting financial transactions. Applicants are therefore encouraged to consider the relevance and affordability of the digital financial services offered.

  1. What is EFInA looking for?

Window 2: Digital Financial Services for Women

Applicants must have a track record of success for providing digital financial services or financial services targeted at women

  1. Applicants must provide compelling use cases for innovative digital financial services for women
  2. Applicants must describe how the proposed products/services meet the needs and/or addresses barriers specific to women
  3. Applicants must provide a strong business case that demonstrates how the proposed products/services and channels meet the needs of the low income female population (defined as those earning N50, 000 or less per month)
  4. Applicants should take into consideration the fact that women are typically less likely to leave their place of work/business to conduct financial transactions
  5. Applicants should have the capacity to implement the proposed project and demonstrate sustainable impact within 24 months
  6. Applicants must develop effective customer awareness campaigns that demonstrate the benefits of the products/services and provide information on agent locations, if applicable
  7. Applicants must have the resources to match 50% of EFInA’s grant funding

3. Who can apply?

Window 2: Digital Financial Services for Women

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

Partnerships with relevant organisations are encouraged

  1. Evaluation

Criteria Digital Financial Services for Women 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?·                Can the organisation provide a description of the range of products/services they will offer?

·                Is the customer value proposition clear? What are the benefits for women?

·                If agents are utilised, is there a clear value proposition for agents?

·                If agents are utilised, will the proposed project target female agents?

·                Are the project timelines and targets realistic and achievable?

·                Has the organisation anticipated and sufficiently planned for project risks?

·                Has the technology that will be utilised been fully developed, tested, and piloted by the organisation?

Will the project achieve scale (in terms of number of customers served and agents recruited, if applicable)?

B. Capacity to Implement ·                Has the proposed project team successfully implemented projects of similar magnitude/complexity?·                If partner organisations will be involved, have existing partnerships led to successful implementation of projects?·                Does the proposed project team have prior experience in successfully implementing a project that provides financial services to women and/or provides digital financial services?

·                Has the proposed project been successfully piloted, researched or implemented by the organisation?

·                Does the proposed team have experience in implementing financial inclusion related projects?


C. Developmental Impact ·        Do the proposed products/services provide a compelling use case for low income women?·                Do the proposed products/services have the potential to create new jobs for women?·                Does the proposed project improve the welfare of women in under-served areas?


D. Innovation ·                Does the proposed project offer a different product, service, or delivery mechanism from what is typically offered in the Nigerian market?·                Is the innovation scalable to other regions in Nigeria?·                Will the proposed project contribute to furthering the financial inclusion agenda in Nigeria?


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?·                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 target areas?

·                How will the organisation ensure that the technology platform utilised is secure and consumer data is protected?

·                What is the plan for educating customers on how to use their mobile phone to access financial products/services; and for agents on the benefits of being an agent, if applicable?


F. Sustainability ·                Will the proposed products/services create customer behaviour change that will lead to continued usage?·                Has the organisation provided evidence that it can continue to offer these products/services after EFInA funding has 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?


G. Geographic Reach ·                Will the proposed project lead to deepening financial inclusion among women 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 covered?


  1. How to apply

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

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

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