Innovation Grant Request for Proposals - Round 4
The deadline for the RFP is 6:00 pm on October 21, 2011

The EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2010 survey showed that 25.4 million Nigerian adults are banked, which is equivalent to 30% of the adult population; whilst 49.2 million adults own a mobile phone which is equivalent to 58% of the adult population. Of the 49.2 million adults that own a mobile phone, 25.3 million are unbanked; this clearly demonstrates the potential for using mobile phones as a distribution channel for providing financial services to the unbanked.

Branchless banking through channels such as the mobile phone can fundamentally transform the way the low-income mass market customer segment access financial services. In addition, using mobile phones and nonbank retail agents as distribution channels can dramatically reduce transaction costs.

In August 2011, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued licences to operate mobile payment services in Nigeria, to 11 companies. To this end, EFInA is pleased to announce its fourth call for proposals for the Innovation Grant. Innovation Round 4 is solely focused on supporting the launch of mobile payment services as a channel for expanding access to ‘formal financial’ products and services for the unbanked and under-banked population in Nigeria. The deadline for submission of proposals is 6pm on October 21st, 2011.

What are we looking for?

Mobile payment services can serve primarily as a safe way to store money and transfer money using a mobile wallet. We envisage the launch of mobile payment services that go beyond remittances and give access to formal financial services such as savings, payments, insurance and credit, in particular for the low income unbanked and under-banked population in rural communities.

Grant proposals should support EFInA’s financial inclusion agenda and demonstrate the ability to provide financial services and products for ALL and can reach high numbers of the targeted population in Nigeria. The proposal must also indicate how a network of non-bank agents will be developed and managed.

The project proposed must be sustainable and scalable for the provider. The services will be offered for a published fee (to users and agents), showing sustainable pricing after grant funds phase out.

All projects must incorporate financial education campaigns to inform customers of the products/services features, how to use the service, the role of agents, customer services channels, and consumer protection redress mechanisms. In addition, pricing for all products/services must be transparent.

 Who can apply?

  • The eleven companies that have been issued a CBN license to operate mobile payments services in Nigeria
  • Applicants must also show proof they have satisfied ALL conditions, stipulated by the CBN before commercial launch
  • Applicants must have the capacity to implement the proposed project within 24 months

Selection Criteria

Innovation 25%

  • Product and services offering
  • Distribution channels

Viable project idea 15%

  • Sustainability and scalability for the provider
  • Pilot and any additional market research findings

Developmental Impact 15%

  • Customer acquisition (banked and unbanked customers)
  • Agent acquisition and remuneration
  • How the proposal supports the CBN’s Cashless Banking Policy
  • Geographic outreach (rural/urban)

Capacity 25%

  • Managerial Capacity
  • System Capability
  • Agent network development and management strategy
  • Partnerships

Onsite assessment 15%

  • Confirmation that the applicant has satisfied ALL conditions stipulated by the CBN before commercial launch

Consumer Education & Protection 5%

  • Consumer education on the use of the product and its key features
  • Transparent customer pricing & agent commission structure
  • Effective and efficient customer redress mechanism
  • Call centre availability, cost implication for customers and response time

 What is the application process?

  • In addition to the project proposal, applicants shouldprovide monthly historical data (January to August 2011) and a 3 year forecast (including detailed assumptions) on the following parameters: total customers signed on, active customers (who conduct at least one transaction within a month), total agents, active agents (verified, trained and have conducted at least one transaction), geographic location of agents, agent types, total number and value of transactions per transaction type offered.
  • Applicants should provide certified copies of signed contracts for all partnerships including the roles and responsibilities
  • For further information on the Innovation Grant Application & Submission Process read more
  • All completed grant application forms and the required documentation should be submitted to the Programme Manager at
  • The deadline for submission is 6pm on October 21st, 2011
  • EFInA will notify all applicants of the outcome of their applications by November 18th, 2011