Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme launches fintech programme

Source: PFIP

This is a call for expressions of interest from consulting firms and individuals specialized in the design and development of financial products and services that are delivered through digital channels.

PFIP will be engaging consultants with this expertise to assist with projects that will launch beginning in July 2016 and extend through 2018.

The Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) works in South Pacific markets to increase the number of low-income customers who adopt formal financial services. PFIP does this by funding financial service providers that are innovating with digital finance, conducting market research, and providing technical assistance to policy makers. The primary countries of focus of the PFIP are Fiji, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Solomon Islands (SOI), Tonga and Vanuatu. The PFIP is administered by UNCDF and UNDP and funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the EU, and the New Zealand Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

The design challenge

PFIP projects typically fund design teams that develop financial products for banks or payment service providers with digital channels and cash merchant networks. All of the eligible providers in the region have invested heavily in rolling out cash merchant networks and mobile application channels and acquiring customers, only to be disappointed with customer adoption rates and low revenues. For the providers, the principal objective is to increase usage rates and revenue. The providers tend to think of the challenge as a product design problem; in fact the compelling customer value proposition may require innovation with the channels, pricing, products, marketing, or other dimensions of the customer experience.

The successful deliverable will be a service or product that inspires low income customers to use digital financial service channels. We believe that success will come from solutions that remove a pain point or substantially improve some aspect of the daily financial life of mass market customers. These customers will weigh any new solution against traditional cash-based practices they know. The solution will likely be low fidelity. It will be very inexpensive for the customer. It will be at the frontier of the digital world and the analog world that mass market customers live in.

Scope of work

The projects will be implemented by a dedicated team comprised of the implementing partner staff and outside design and financial services specialists that PFIP will source. The team will function under the supervision of the implementing partner, but will be led by a lead designer contracted by PFIP. The team will be tasked with the design challenge of prototyping products and services to find solutions that can be commercially scaled. The projects could last anywhere from 6 to 18 months.

PFIP or the implementing partner will be hiring consultants for any combination of the following roles:

  • A lead designer that guides the team, or multiple teams, through the designand development process with periodic field presence and remote coordination
  • A project manager who is fulltime onsite and runs day-to-day operations, under the guidance of the lead designer. This person could be from either the design or financial service industry.
  • Specialty designers as needed. The projects will need experts from the financial service industry with product development, experience prototype designers, UX, and UI designers

Contracting modality

PFIP will contract the lead designer(s) on a flexible contract for 100 – 200 days and then define specific TORs according to need. The project managers will likely be hired directly by the implementing partner. The specialty designers may be hired either by PFIP or the implementing partner.

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