19-10-2015 by 
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Consultant - Digital Financial Services


FINCA International


Owerri, Nigeria


13 Oct 2015


15 Nov 2015


With headquarters in Washington, DC, FINCA International reaches over 1.8 million clients through its 23 subsidiaries in Africa, Eurasia, the Middle East and South Asia, and Latin America. Our outreach is among the broadest and most comprehensive of today’s microfinance institutions.

Digital financial services (DFS) has the potential to expand the delivery of basic financial services to the poor or un/underbanked through new technologies like mobile phones, computers, electronic money and new channels such as retail agents. These channels (also known as alternative delivery channels – ADC) can drastically drive down costs for customers and service providers, opening the door to the financial inclusion of remote and underserved populations. The use of DFS to advance outreach and accessibility is lagging in Nigeria, and little progress has been made in the last couple of years. Only 1.3 million adults (around 5.2% of the adult population) use a bank agent. Unlike most of East Africa, Mobile Network Operators (MNO) in Nigeria are prohibited from building agent networks or offering financial services. Sterling Bank was the first to launch Agency Banking in November 2013, GT Bank, launched in December 2013, and Heritage Bank in March 2014. However, each of these agent networks are still limited in size and they are concentrated in Lagos. As of yet, no MfB has begun offering agent banking or mobile money, and there are no financial institutions providing DFS in the South East of Nigeria.

FINCA Nigeria wishes to start exploring DFS to help address the challenges of distances travelled and time spent by clients to access what are often considered basic financial services. The deployment of DFS will provide the market with technologies needed to facilitate transactions quickly and easily, and can help address the challenges of accessibility to and for clients. The DFS will ultimately provide clients with tangible benefits, including the following:

  • Cost savings for clients in terms of time spent away from the business and transport costs. Small value transactions become more profitable for the clients as they spend less time on travel;
  • Significantly improved banking presence, bringing the benefits of financial inclusion to unbanked clients. Clients can transact on their accounts at times and locations that are convenient for them. They are not hindered by restrictive branch operating hours;
  • Increased security for clients by reducing the cash they hold on a daily basis and the distance they travel to make transactions;
  • Increased savings mobilization. FINCA’s experience in Africa overall shows that the deployment of DFS increases savings mobilization.

The immediate objective of this project is to provide FINCA Nigeria a comprehensive strategy and plan to roll out DFS within its recently launched operations in Owerri, Immo State as well as to deliver technical assistance and guidance during development, implementation and pilot.



Throughout the course of the assignment, the consultant will work closely with a Project Team made up of key staff from FINCA Nigeria and the FINCA Africa Regional Office and reports to the Management Board of FINCA Nigeria. The project team will provide regular feedback, review draft policies, provide information as required, gather data as required, engage country resources as required and participate in workshops and phone conferences. In parallel with the consultant, FINCA will handle related IT considerations using internal resources both at the local level in Nigeria and from their African hub-office in Kampala.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Phase 1: Strategy Development;
  • Phase 2: Implementation and pilot.

The primary output will be a comprehensive strategy for DFS that includes a viable business case, an implementation and growth plan, a detailed analysis of the risks associated with delivering DFS in Nigeria and a budget. The consultant should also deliver a report with evaluated results and feedback from the pilot and roll-out strategy to incorporate the channel(s) into business as usual, which will be incorporated into reporting to FMO.

At the end of the assignment the consultant will organize a closing-out workshop with senior management of the institution. The workshop should evaluate the achievements of the consultancy and discuss the recommendations for the future.


  • Flexible self-starter, comfortable working in a start-up environment;
  • At least 3 to 5 years hands-on experience working in DFS development with at least 3 years in a business development and/ or managerial role preferably with a mobile network operator, financial institution or payments service provider;
  • Experience in creating partnerships within the DFS ecosystem (e.g. MNO, Banks, Aggregators, Regulators and Technology Suppliers);
  • Ability to advise and convince management and other influential stakeholders;
  • Ability to think strategically and apply at tactical and operational level;
  • Excellent analytical skills;
  • Proven ability to work in challenging conditions;
  • Experience with standardized project methodology (e.g. Prince2, PMI etc) is considered an advantage;
  • Bachelor’s degree in sales, marketing, or business; a Master’s degree is considered a plus.


Prospective consultants should submit their CVs, description of relevant experience, project approach and rates to Bram Peters at bram.peters@finca.org