Innovation Grants Request for Proposals (RFP) 5: Incentives and innovations to increase the usage of mobile money
The deadline for the RFP is 6:00 pm on September 10, 2013

About the EFInA Innovation Grant In 2009, EFInA launched its Innovation Fund to promote the development and launch of innovative financial products and services targeting the unbanked and under-banked low income segment. The Innovation Fund seeks to support new ideas and approaches to expanding financial access to the unbanked and under-banked population in Nigeria.  As innovation involves taking risks, EFInA shares the risk of developing and implementing innovative products by providing grants to subsidise commercial and policy related initiatives.

While innovation is often challenging to define, the EFInA Innovation Fund focuses on novel ways of providing access to financial services in Nigeria, rather than replicating existing approaches. The fund will support projects which:

  • Generate and pilot new ideas and business models that increase access, usage, and quality of financial services for low income customers that are unbanked and under-banked
  • Support projects that extend the provision of inclusive financial services to the rural areas  or low income population
  • Have significant potential for replication and scale, thereby maximising the impact of EFInA's Innovation Fund

Objectives of the Innovation Grant RFP Round 5 In 2011, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced its Cash-less policy. The policy seeks to encourage the increase of electronic-based transactions, through different channels such as mobile money, internet banking, POS machines, NEFT (NIBSS Electronic Funds Transfer) and NIBSS Instant Payments (NIP). The second phase of the Cash-less policy is focused on Abia, Anambra, Kano, Ogun and Rivers states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). However, the cash processing fee for transactions above certain limits will not be implemented in these six additional Cash-less rollout areas until October 1, 2013.

The usage of electronic channels for financial transactions can fundamentally transform access to financial services. To support the CBN’s Cash-less policy, EFInA is launching the Innovation Grant Round 5: Incentives and innovations to increase the usage of mobile money. This round is focused on designing and implementing appropriate incentives for low income customers and/or agents, to increase the uptake and usage of mobile money in Abia, Anambra, Kano, Ogun, and Rivers states, as well as the FCT. In addition, EFInA will focus on Borno State, as the Bankers’ Committee has agreed to undertake a pilot scheme on financial inclusion in that State.

What is EFInA Looking for in Round 5?

  • Incentives for low income customers and/or agents to increase the uptake and usage of mobile money for conducting financial transactions such as: cash-in, cash-out, person-to-person transfers, person-to-business payments, and transfers from an E-Wallet to a bank account and vice versa, in Abia, Anambra, Borno,Kano, Ogun and Rivers states, as well as the FCT
  • Applicants must clearly demonstrate how the proposed incentives will increase the uptake and usage of mobile money for low income customers, especially for women and rural communities, in Abia, Anambra, Borno, Kano, Ogun and Rivers states, as well as the FCT
  • Applicants should have the capacity to implement the proposed project within 24 months
  • Applicants must have the resources to match 50% of EFInA’s grant funding

Only proposals focused on one or more of the following states will be considered: Abia, Anambra, Borno, Kano, Ogun and Rivers states, as well as the FCT

How Much Money Does EFInA Provide?

Size of grant

$250,000 – $2,000,000

Eligible Expenditure

EFInA funds can be used to cover the costs of launching, rolling out and implementing a new product, service or delivery mechanism, including:

  • Training of non-bank agents
  • Technical assistance/consultancy fees
  • Marketing and advertising expenses specifically to improve financial capability and ensure that targeted (low income) customers understand the product

Non Eligible Expenditure

EFInA funds CANNOT be used for:

  • Subsidizing the organization’s general operations and staff related costs
  • Training/remuneration for agents
  • On-lending to customers
  • Fixed assets, including office relocation and branch infrastructure
  • Advertising and marketing expenses not associated with financial capability/literacy

Maximum term of the project

24 months from disbursement of the grant

Funding conditions

Quarterly drawdowns linked to performance against agreed milestones

Who Can Apply?

  • CBN-licenced Mobile Money Operators

How Can an Organisation Apply? Follow and complete the following five steps:

Step 1: Complete the EFInA Innovation Grant application form

Download Innovation Grant Application Form here

Step 2: Complete Financial and Workplan templates including the following associated tabs:

Download financial and workplan templates here

  • Workplan
  • Milestones
  • Project Budget (Expenditure)
  • Project P&L Statement

Step 3: Include evidence for company eligibility – provide a copy of the following documentation or completed forms

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 7 (particulars of the Directors)
  • Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 2 (statement of share capital and return of allotment of shares)
  • Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 10 (annual returns) filed for the preceding year
  • List of company shareholders
  • Audited Accounts for the last 2 years (however, new entities or joint ventures may present the audited statements of their main sponsor or shareholders)
  • Where applicable, applicants with intellectual property that is protected by law in Nigeria must demonstrate proof that they have obtained permission to use such intellectual property  prior to commencing a project funded by the EFInA Innovation Grant

Step 4: Provide capacity statements

  • Copy of Mobile Money Operator’s licence 
  • Copies of relevant licenses/regulatory approval for the proposed business/product (e.g. Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) license(s)) and any other required regulatory documentation
  • Evidence of compliance with the CBN’s  Mobile Money Operators monthly data reporting requirements
  • Evidence of commitment from the organisation’s board to support the implementation of mobile money

Step 5: Provide copy of relevant licences

  • Copy of Mobile Money Operators licence or relevant telecommunications licence.

How Will EFInA Evaluate the Grant Applications? The following criteria will be used to assess all proposals:

Criteria

Weighting

Indicators

1. Target Customer

25%

  • Do the incentives target low income customers? If so, what percentage of new customers is expected to be low income?
  • Do the incentives target low income customers in rural areas?
  • What customer need is being satisfied by the product/service to which the incentive will be applied?
  • How will addressing this need create customer behaviour change that would  lead to the continued usage of the product/service?

2. Innovation

25%

Customers

  • Do the incentives have a positive economic impact on the lives of low income customers?
  • Will the incentives change current customer behaviour?
  • Will the incentives increase the uptake and usage of mobile money for customers?
  • Are the incentives easy to understand?

Agents

  • Will the incentives increase mobile money transactions at agent locations?
  • How will the incentives drive agent profitability?
  • How will agents use the incentives to promote their mobile money business?

Pricing

  • Is the pricing structure for the applicable product/service commercially viable without the incentives?
  • The product/service to which the incentive will be applied cannot be offered for free

General

  • Are the proposed incentives substantially different from what is already being offered in the market? 
  • Is there an opportunity to collaborate or partner with other organisations to ensure the success of the proposed incentives?

3. Sustainability

15%

  • Can the incentives increase the sustainability of the CBN’s Cash-less policy efforts? If so, how?
  • Customer acquisition targets - how many new customers will use mobile money due to the proposed incentives?
  • Is the idea backed by market research and data?
  • Do the incentives have a plausible business model?
  • How will the incentives encourage continued customer usage even after they have ended?

4. Experience of the Project Team and Strategic Fit

15%

  • What are the organisation’s plans to roll out or ramp up mobile money services in the applicable states?
  • How do these incentives fit into the organisation’s growth plans and financial projections for mobile money?
  • Do the incentives align with the organisation’s priorities?
  • Does the team have expertise in mobile money and agent banking?
  • Does the team have expertise in successful project implementation?

5. Gender

10%

  • How will the incentives encourage the uptake and usage of mobile money by women?

6. Customer Education and Protection

10%

  • Does the organisation have a strong customer service function?
  • Are customer pricing & agent commission structures transparent?
  • Does the organisation have an effective and efficient customer redress mechanism?

How Will EFInA Monitor the Project? For successful applicants, EFInA will require quarterly progress reports, conduct quarterly monitoring visiting/meetings and may subject the grantee to audits at any point during the life of the grant

What is the Timeline for the Entire Innovation Grant Process?To view a complete timeline visit the Innovation Grant Application Process page

Which Organizations Have Received Innovation Grants from EFInA in the Past? To view Innovation Grant Recipients visit the Grant Recipients page

Presentations from the Launch of RFP 5 Insights about mobile money were presented at the launch event for Innovation Grant Round 5:

Modupe Ladipo, CEO of EFInA, shared findings from EFInA research that illustrate opportunities for mobile money providers. She also spoke about best practices for increasing mobile money uptake, how mobile money aligns with the CBN’s Cash-less policy, and financial access points in the focus states for Innovation Grant Round 5.

Patrice Martin, Co-lead and Creative Director of IDEO.org, shared ten insights about human behaviour that have contributed to development of innovative mobile money platforms. IDEO.org is an award-winning global design firm that has used a human-centred approach to deepen financial inclusion across a number of countries, including Kenya, Ghana and Uganda.

Completing Your Application All completed applications must be received by the deadline, 6:00pm on September 10, 2013
All applicants will be notified of RFP outcome by November 15, 2013
Use the checklist below to ensure you have a complete application
You can also download the checklist here

Required documents

Checked

1. Application form

 

2. EFInA financial & work plan template
Work plan/Milestones/Project Budget/ Projected Profit & Loss Statement

 

3. Capacity statements
Documentation of experience/capacity relevant to the proposal Signed MOU/Agreement

 

4. Certificate of Incorporation

 

5. Memorandum and Articles of Association

 

6. CAC 7 (particulars of Directors)

 

7. CAC 2 (statement of share capital and return of allotment of shares)

 

8. CAC 10 (form of annual returns) filed for the year preceding the grant

 

9. List of company’s shareholders

 

10. Audited accounts for the last 2 years (new entities or joint ventures may present the audited statements of their main sponsor or shareholder)

 

11. Copies of relevant licenses and authorization for proposed business/product

 

12. Copy of Mobile Money Operating license

 

13. Evidence of compliance with the CBN’s  Mobile Money Operators monthly data reporting requirements

 

14. Evidence of other regulatory approval (including permission for use of intellectual property where applicable)

 

15. Evidence of commitment from the organisation’s board to support the implementation of mobile money  

Frequently Asked QuestionsTo see frequently asked questions (FAQs) visit Application Guidelines FAQs page

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON EFInA INNOVATION GRANTS, CONTACT US
Email: innovation@efina.org.ng