Request for Proposals – B-Mobile Market Research Assessment (TENDER)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) is currently implementing a project that requires the services of an individual to perform the work described in the above mentioned subject.

We are hereby inviting qualified individuals to submit an offer who has strong MFS/DFS knowledge and proven experience in market research, experience in planning, deploying and managing a mobile money delivery channel. This expert will be required to work for 30 days with Bmobile’s team to conduct a customer centric market research, conduct an institutional assessment of Bmobile and recommend whether or not there is a solid business case for Bmobile to deploy MFS in the Solomon Islands based on evidence.

Please note that this procurement process is being conducted through online tendering system of UNDP. Bidders who wish to submit an offer must register in the system in order to access the bidding document and submit a proposal. To register please visit the link below and follow the instructions provided in the user guide for bidders in the document attached: https://etendering.partneragencies.org 

If you decide not to submit an offer, we would appreciate if you would advise us accordingly, preferably indicating the reasons for declining this invitation.

BRIEF Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference (TOR) define the scope, plan, and deliverables for knowledgeable and experienced technical experts to conduct a market research and institutional assessment for Bmobile Solomon Islands Ltd. The experts will further design business case scenarios to be considered by Bmobile’s board and senior managers for the deployment of a mobile money wallet to offer financial services for the rural and hard to reach population of Solomon Islands.

Bmobile SI Ltd is one of the two mobile telephone service operators in the Solomon Islands. It was launched in Honiara on the 31st of August 2010. Currently, Bmobile provides GSM services to the people of Solomon Islands.

In 2014, Bmobile partnered with Vodafone, a global leader in telecommunications. Vodafone is one of the world’s largest mobile communications companies with equity interests in over 30 countries and more than 50 partner networks worldwide. The partnership between Bmobile and Vodafone has allowed Bmobile to introduce quality and innovative mobile services to customers in the Solomon Islands. It has also helped cater to the growing demand for data roaming on smartphones and mobile broadband. Bmobile – Vodafone corporate and retail customers have access to enhanced roaming experience abroad.

Bmobile-Vodafone currently operates in four provinces across the country, namely Guadalcanal, Malaita, Western, & Central Province and is planning to roll out its mobile network to the other provinces in future.

Bmobile-Vodafone is considering adding Mobile Financial Services (MFS) to the list of services it already offers to its customers. The decision for MFS consideration are premised on the desire to offer;
a) A value addition to its customers who are already enrolled on existing GSM business,
b) As an additional, yet pivotal line of business alongside the existing GSM business and an opportunity to contribute to financial inclusion in the country.

Financial inclusion in the Solomon Islands is progressing well since 2012 with the advent of digital financial services, where mobile and branchless banking seeing increased uptake and usage. The number of access points have significantly increased as compared to 2012 and the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) is supporting innovations besides taking the lead in implementing the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).

However, there are many adult Solomon Islanders who are still excluded from the formal financial system and even where they have been included, the usage rates of financial services are still low. A 2015 joint CBSI & PFIP financial services demand side survey1 revealed that only 26% of adults were ‘’banked’’ and another 8% were accessing other formal financial services. The number of unbanked Solomon Islanders and those accessing informal services was estimated at 66% highlighting the need to introduce new digital financial services that could significantly reduce these gaps.

Bmobile recognizes the need for offering mobile financial services (MFS) that would address the gaps highlighted above, thereby providing opportunities for Solomon Islanders to manage their money better and engage in gainful economic opportunities. However, they would like to base their roll-out of MFS on an evidence-based assessment, a robust entry and implementation strategy, underpinned by solid business cases and budgets for the consideration of the directors/senior management of Bmobile before a final decision to launch MFS is taken.

This TOR is therefore designed to solicit for experienced technical expert with strong MFS/DFS knowledge and proven experience in market research, experience in planning, deploying and managing a mobile money delivery channel.

This expert will work with Bmobile’s team to conduct a customer centric market research, conduct an institutional assessment of Bmobile and recommend whether or not there is a solid business case for Bmobile to deploy MFS in the Solomon Islands based on evidence.

For details on the responsibilities, scope of work and applicant requirements, please download full Terms of Reference
For any clarification regarding this assignment please write to ronald.kumar@undp.org

Applications close 04 June 2018