Innovation Grant RFP 6 -Window 1: Building Pervasive Agent Networks
The deadline for the RFP is 6:00 pm on May 11, 2015

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 One will only consider proposals that aim to build pervasive agent networks in rural areas, in order to enhance financial access points and thereby significantly increase the uptake and usage of formal financial products/services by the low income population.

About the EFInA Innovation Grant The EFInA Innovation Fund was launched in 2009 with the objective of promoting the development and implementation of innovative financial products and services targeting the unbanked and under-banked low income population. The Fund seeks to support new ideas and approaches to expanding financial access to the underserved population in Nigeria.

As innovation involves taking risks, EFInA will share the risk of developing and implementing innovative products by providing grant subsidies for commercial and policy related initiatives. EFInA seeks to support the commercial viability of products and services for the underserved population.

Background of the EFInA Innovation Grant RFP 6 Window 1: Building Pervasive Agent Networks According to the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey1, 59.8 million adults (63.9% of the adult population) live in rural areas.  Of these, 28.6 million adults (47.8% of the rural population) are financially excluded. This compares with 8.4 million adults (24.8% of the urban population) living in urban areas.

Proximity to financial access points continues to be a barrier to accessing formal financial services. The FSP Geospatial Interactive Map 20122 revealed that there are 16,746 financial services locations in Nigeria, of which only 3,275 (20.0% of total access points) are mobile money agents. Of the total mobile money agents, only 952 (29.1% of mobile money agents) are located in rural areas. Furthermore, according to the EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey, 57.1 million adults have never had a deposit money bank account. Of these, 9.5 million adults (16.7% of adults without a deposit money bank account) cite “banks being too far from where they live or work” as a reason for not having a deposit money bank account.  89.0 million adults have never had a microfinance account. Of these, 8.6 million adults (9.7% of adults without a microfinance bank account) also cite “banks being too far from where they live or work” as a reason for not having a microfinance bank account.

In addition, 68.6 million adults (73.4% of the adult population) are not aware of bank agents. In order to ensure that customers conduct financial transactions at agents locations, providers will need to develop and implement effective awareness campaigns.

Most respondents are aware of the location of the nearest provision shop and pharmacy to their homes. Therefore, these two outlets provide the greatest potential for offering financial services. All adults living in the rural areas are aware of the nearest provision shop; 78.3% live within 10 minutes of a provision shop. On the other hand, 62.2% of adults living in rural areas are aware of the nearest pharmacy; of those that are aware, 67.9% live within 10 minutes of a pharmacy.

As a result of these findings, EFInA is seeking to increase the establishment of pervasive agent networks in rural areas. Applicants should provide a compelling proposition for expanding and scaling agent banking services in rural areas in order to increase access to formal financial products/services for the low income population. Applications must include a viable and sustainable agent proposition that will encourage the uptake and usage of formal financial products

1 Source: http://www.efina.org.ng/assets/Updated-Documents/A2F/EFInA-Access-to-Financial-Services-in-Nigeria-2014-Survey-Key-FindingswebsiteFINAL.pdf
2 Source: www.fspmaps.org

What is EFInA looking for in RFP 6? Window 1: Building Agent Networks

  1. Applicants must have a track record of success for building viable agent networks
  2. Applicants must ensure that the agents are active and have the tools to effectively monitor their activities
  3. Applicants should be able to demonstrate that they have experience with strategic partnerships that have led to successful implementation of projects
  4. Applicants will be encouraged to work with diverse institutions to develop and roll-out shared agent networks, especially in rural areas
  5. Applicants should have the capacity to implement the proposed project and demonstrate sustainable impact within 24 months
  6. Applicants must provide compelling agent value propositions
  7. Applicants must provide effective strategies for increasing the uptake and usage of formal financial services by the low income population
  8. Applicants must develop effective customer awareness campaigns that demonstrate the benefits of the products/services offered and provide information on agent locations
  9. Applicants must provide evidence that they have the resources to match 50% of EFInA’s grant funding

Who can apply? Window 1: Building Agent Networks

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

Partnerships with relevant organisations are encouraged

How much money does EFInA provide?

Size of Grant

$250,000 - $2,000,000

Applicant’s Contribution

All applicants will be expected to match at least 50% of the Grant awarded by EFInA. The grantee’s matching funds may be used to acquire fixed assets or fund project staff at a disclosed rate and on a basis acceptable to EFInA for the purpose of the project. EFInA will also consider other forms of grantee contributions (especially for start-up companies)

Eligible Expenditure

EFInA grant funding can be used to cover the costs of:

  • Launching, rolling-out and implementing a new product, service or delivery mechanism, including:
    • Scale deployment of products/services
    • Training of agents
    • Technical assistance or special consultancy support
  • Market awareness campaigns and advertising expenses that are directly related to the project being funded and aim to improve awareness and financial capability/literacy of the targeted (low income) customer segment

Non-Eligible Expenditure

EFInA funds CANNOT be used for:

  • Subsidising the organisation’s general operations and staff related costs
  • On-lending to customers
  • Office relocation, branch infrastructure, general fixed assets
  • Advertising and marketing expenses not associated with financial capability/literacy or directly related to the project being funded
  • Obtaining a business operations license
  • Acquiring an equity stake in a new or existing business

Maximum Term of EFInA Grant Funding

24 months from the first disbursement of the Grant

Funding Conditions

The Grant is payable in quarterly tranches with each payment linked to the achievement of pre-agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and milestones set forth in the detailed project plan and Grant Agreement.

How can an organisation apply? Follow and complete the following four steps:

Step  1: Complete the EFInA Innovation Grant application form
Download Innovation Grant Application Form here

Step 2: Complete financial and work plan templates including the following associated tabs:
Download  financial and work plan templates here

  • Work plan
  • 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
  • Most recent Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 7  (Particulars of the Directors)
  • Most recent Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 2  (Statement of share capital and return of allotment of shares)
  • Form Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 10  (Form of annual returns) filed for the year preceding the year of the Grant
  • Audited accounts statements for the last 2 years preceding the year of the Grant (however, new entities or joint ventures may present the audited statements of their main sponsor or shareholders)
  • Signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with all implementation partners
  • A letter from the organisation’s Board approving the EFInA Grant application and stating their commitment to the proposed project
  • 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, where applicable
  • Copy of Mobile Network Operator’s licence, where applicable
  • Letter of approval from the CBN to the licensed financial institution to operate agent banking services including a letter of appointment from the financial institution to the super-agent (for super agents), approval from the CBN permitting the financial institution to operate agent banking services in Nigeria (for non-Mobile Money Operators)
  • Copy of one-off approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, to offer agent banking services (for Deposit Money Banks, Microfinance Banks and Primary Mortgage Banks)
  • Copies of relevant licenses/regulatory approvals for the proposed project from relevant regulators, e.g. the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) license(s) and any other regulator
  • Evidence of compliance with the CBN’s Mobile Money Operators monthly data reporting requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the members of the proposed project team

How will EFInA evaluate the grant application? The following criteria will be used to assess all proposals:

Criteria Building Agent Networks 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?
  • Is there a clear value proposition for customers in the rural areas?
  • Is there a clear value proposition for agents in the rural areas?
  • Can the organisation provide a description of the range of products/services they will offer?
  • Does the proposal provide evidence for recruiting, on-boarding and sustaining active agents?
  • Are the project timelines and targets realistic and achievable?
  • Has the organisation anticipated and sufficiently planned for project risks?
  • Will the project achieve scale (in terms of number of customers served and agents recruited)?
  • Does the project target female agents?

25%

B. Geographic Reach
  • Will the proposed project lead to deepening financial inclusion among Nigerians 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 served by agents?

20%

C. Developmental Impact
  • Do the proposed products/services provide a compelling use case for the low income population in rural areas?
  • Do the proposed products/services have the potential to significantly reduce financial exclusion in the rural areas?
  • Does the proposed project have the potential to create new jobs within the rural communities?

20%

D. Capacity to Implement the Project
  • Does the proposed project team have prior experience in successfully managing a project of similar magnitude/complexity?
  • Has the proposed project been successfully piloted, researched or implemented by the applicant?
  • Does the proposed team have expertise in building and managing agent networks?
  • Does the proposed team have experience in implementing financial inclusion related projects?
  • Is the applicant considering applying for a super-agent license?

15%

E. Consumer Protection, Customer 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?
  • Can the organisation provide details of the agent incentive structure and evidence that the incentives are 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 agent locations?
  • What is the plan for educating customers on the benefits of the products/services offered?
  • How will the organisation ensure that the technology platform utilised is secure and consumer data is protected?

10%

F. Sustainability
  • Has the organisation provided evidence that it can continue to offer these products/services after EFInA funding have 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?

10%

G. Innovation
  • Is the proposed agent network strategy substantially different from what is already being offered in the market?
  • Is the innovation scalable to other regions in Nigeria?
  • Will the proposed project contribute to furthering the financial inclusion agenda in Nigeria?

5%

How Will EFInA monitor the project? Monitoring and Evaluation is an on-going process throughout the tenure of the Grant. The grantee’s Programme Manager is responsible for ensuring that the overall objectives of the Grant are met as well as ensuring project governance and relationship management. The M&E process will involve:

  • Monthly update meetings, calls and/or reports
  • Quarterly visits and meetings conducted by EFInA
  • Quarterly progress reports to be sent by the grantee to the Grants Administrator in a format pre-defined by EFInA
  • An end-of-project evaluation report that includes lessons learned, major challenges, and key achievements, which will be presented to EFInA’s management
  • Grantees may be subject to audits
  • Changes to the project must be communicated to, and approved by EFInA through a pre-agreed Project Change Control process included in the Grant Agreement

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

Which organisations have received Innovation Grants from EFInA in the past? To view Innovation Grant Recipients visit the Grant Recipients page

Completing your RFP6 application All applicants must complete the Innovation Grant Application Form and Templates listed on this page. All completed grant application forms, templates and required documentation should be submitted to the EFInA Grants Team at innovation@efina.org.ng 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.

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 (complete the four tabs)

Work plan/Milestones/Project Budget/Projected Profit&Loss Statement

 
3. Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the members of the proposed project team  
4. Certificate of incorporation  
5. Memorandum and Articles of Association  
6. Most recent Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 7  (Particulars of the Directors)  
7. Most recent Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 2  (Statement of share capital and return of allotment of shares)  
8. Form Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 10  (Form of annual returns) filed for the year preceding the year of the Grant  
9. Audited accounts statements for the last 2 years preceding the year of the Grant (however, new entities or joint ventures may present the audited statements of their main sponsor or shareholders)  
10. Signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with all implementation partners  
11. A letter from the organisation’s Board approving the EFInA Grant application and stating their commitment to the proposed project  
12. 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  
13. Copy of Mobile Money Operator’s licence, where applicable  
14. Copy of Mobile Network Operator’s licence, where applicable  
15. Letter of approval with CBN licensed financial institution to operate agent banking services (for super agents), including approval from CBN permitting the financial institution to operate agent banking services in Nigeria (for non-Mobile Money Operators)  
16. Copy of one-off approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria, to offer agent banking services (for Deposit Money Banks, Microfinance Banks and Primary Mortgage Banks)  
17. Copies of relevant licenses/regulatory approvals for the proposed project from relevant regulators, e.g., Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) license(s) and any other regulator  
18. Evidence of compliance with the CBN’s Mobile Money Operators monthly data reporting requirements  

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

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