Review, advise on and facilitate drafting of regulations for Agency Banking and Mobile Money operations in Solomon Islands

  • Mid-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 6 November 2019

Job Description

An assignment for Strongim Bisnis, a program supported by the Australian Government in Solomon Islands.

Dates & duration: Over 55 days between January and April 2020, 28 days of which will be in Honiara, Solomon Islands.
Location: Honiara and desk-based
Reports to: Business Advisor (BEE) – Business Enabling Environment
Intervention / area of focus: Business Enabling Environment and Women’s Economic Empowerment
Australian Adviser Remuneration Framework discipline and level: D3

Background to Strongim Bisnis
Strongim Bisnis is an AUD14 million, three-year market systems development (MSD) program funded by the Australian Government in Solomon Islands, working under the umbrella of the Solomon Islands Growth Program. Its goal is to stimulate growth in specific sectors (initially tourism, cocoa and coconut) through activities that catalyse business innovation, change practices, strengthen collaboration, manage risks, build resilience and increase women’s participation and empowerment. It commenced in July 2017.

The program has three end-of-program outcomes (EOPOs) to June 2020:

  1. Business is demonstrating potential for increased productivity, greater resilience, better risk management, more income earning opportunities and access to high value markets, measured by higher agricultural yields, more efficient use of assets and labour, and new business models that favour employment, incomes or trade.
  2. The private sector and government work together to increase opportunities for trade and investment, and form external partnerships that accelerate business growth, measured by a more favourable investment climate and external partnerships that accelerate changing business practice.
  3. Women and youth have increased economic opportunity, measured by women’s and youth participation in the above outcomes, and specific measures for women’s and youth economic empowerment.


Background to the Assignment
The Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) was established in 1983 under the Central Bank of Solomon Islands Act 1976, amended in 1985 and in 2012 under the Central Bank Act of November 2012. The CBSI is the Apex financial body in the country and center of the banking and financial system in Solomon Islands. The CBSI exercises discretionary control over the Country’s entire monetary system and performs other duties that include formulation and implementation of the country’s monetary policies, maintaining price stability, supervision of Financial Service Providers (FSPs), deepening and strengthening of financial inclusion, amongst other duties.

The CBSI believes that financial independence and economic empowerment of Solomon Islands’ citizens starts with financial inclusion. Previously, the CBSI progressed its financial inclusion objectives through implementing the National Financial Inclusion Strategy 1 (2011-2015), which focused on ‘access to financial services’. In 2015, a second National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS 2) with a focus on ‘usage of financial services’ was developed, resulting with a roadmap designed to advance financial inclusion over the 2016 -2020 period.

Under the NFIS 2, two macro indicators and goals were established. In addition, six Strategic Objectives and several Key Result Areas (KRAs) were also set to guide the CBSI in achieving financial inclusion in Solomon Islands. The two macro indicators and goals are:

By 2020:

  • 300,000 adults (of which 150,000 are women) will be active users of formal or semi-formal financial accounts (including accounts at MFIs and savings clubs).
  • 90% of the population will have a financial service access point within one hour of ordinary travel from their home.

As a follow-up, the NFIS 2 document specified that CBSI should consider piloting and deploying an interoperable shared agency network for all FSPs in Solomon Islands. This objective (specified under KRA 2 of the NFIS 2) is prime in meeting the two mentioned goals above.

Objective of the Assignment
In collaboration with the Central Bank of Solomon Islands and stakeholders such as the Economic Reform Unit of the Ministry of Finance and Attorney General’s Chamber, develop regulations on Agency Banking and Mobile Money.

Scope of the Work
Support the CBSI and the financial sector in strengthening the policy framework and regulatory environment regarding Agency Banking and Mobile Money in the Solomon Islands through the following:

  • Study and review emerging international best-practices in respect of Agency Banking and Mobile Money services, particularly in developing countries, with special emphasis on Commonwealth nations.
  • Review any existing and/or proposed laws, regulations and policies, touching, ancillary or incidental to Digital Financial Services, and more specifically Agency Banking and Mobile Money in Solomon Islands.
  • Identify and engage relevant stakeholders in Solomon Islands in respect of the existing and/or proposed laws, policies, and regulations touching, ancillary or incidental to Agency Banking and Mobile Money services.
  • Identify existing strategic, legal, regulatory, policy and operational gaps in Solomon Islands and formulate relevant regulatory advice to address these gaps. Advice should enable the swift growth of Agency Banking and Mobile Money services in Solomon Islands.
  • Work with relevant policy stakeholders (e.g. the Attorney General’s office and/or Economic Reform Unit) to provide support in drafting and developing Solomon Islands’ regulations on Agency Banking and Mobile Money.


Deliverables

  • A detailed report covering:
    • An analysis of how existing and proposed laws, policies and regulations (particularly the existing DFS policy and proposed National Payment System Act), impact on the growth, security and development of agency banking and mobile money services in the country.
    • Emerging international best practices in national policy, legal and regulatory frameworks in respect of Agency Banking and Mobile Money; with a special emphasis in developing countries and jurisdictions where similar DFS services have prospered.
    • A comparative analysis on the limitations, gaps and opportunities found in law, policy and regulation in agency banking and mobile money services and operations in Solomon Islands against emerging international best practices.
    • Results of the stakeholder consultations.
  • Based on analysis and stakeholder engagement, provide detailed recommendations, specifically on:
    • The required legal, regulatory and policy framework changes, including potential amendments to existing regulations and
    • Risk and compliance in DFS, and potential mitigants.
  • A one-page (A4) version of the report, that provides three to five key messages and/or findings.
  • With support from the Attorney General’s Chamber, submit for approval to the CBSI, developed regulations on Agency Banking and Mobile Money



Timeframes
The assignment will commence in January 2020 and require 55 days of inputs by the consultants – a combination of home-based and in-country. The assignment must be completed by the 31 April 2020.

Completion of the assignment is conditional upon approval of the deliverables by Strongim Bisnis and the Central Bank. Consultancy days are allocated as follows:

  • 2 days of desk research, preparation, initial calls/discussions with Strongim Bisnis and CBSI
  • 5 days of desk research studying policy, legal and regulatory frameworks in jurisdictions where Agency Banking and Mobile Money has been successfully implemented
  • 15 days of conducting in-country studies, stakeholder engagements and analysis
  • 5 days for workshop preparation, actual workshop consultations, compiling, analysing workshop feedback and incorporating them into the draft report
  • 5 days for analysis and submission of initial findings to CBSI and Strongim Bisnis
  • 3 days for draft report submission
  • 5 days for submitting final report after incorporating feedback from CBSI & Strongim Bisnis. From the receipt of draft report Strongim Bisnis will take up to 2 weeks to provide responses.
  • 15 days working with the Attorney general’s office or/and the Economic Reform Unit with drafting the Agency Banking and Mobile Money regulations.

Proposals and selection criteria
The proposal shall describe the methodology and approach to achieve the objectives of the scope of work, including the team proposed. It should not exceed 10 pages. A detailed work plan (including number of days per activity) and CVs of the proposed consultant(s) should be annexed.

This is open to individual consultants or firms with the following qualifications:

  • At least a master’s degree in business administration economics or related discipline.
  • Extensive experience in Digital Financial Services in developing countries.
  • Experience or involvement in engaging industry in policy or regulatory matters would be an added advantage.
  • Proven experience of working for or handling consulting on similar assignments of designing, planning and developing Agency Banking and Mobile Money regulations/guidelines.
  • Must be able to lead on strategic and operational thinking while working on policy and regulatory aspects of Agency Banking and Mobile Money.
  • Policy or regulatory experience in Digital Financial Service or laws relating to financial technology, finance or technology is required.
  • Strong analytical and communication skills, including good report writing skills.
  • Pacific region experience is desirable.

Please see attached the full Terms of Reference, and submit your proposals before COB 18 November 2019 to: Rami Alkhatib: Rami.Alkhatib@adamsmithinternational.com and Tim Lawther Tim.Lawther@strongimbisnis.com

About the Organization

About us

Adam Smith International is a global advisory company that works locally to transform lives by making economies stronger, societies more stable, and governments more effective. Our clients are governments, international organisations, companies, and foundations. They come to us to develop strategies and to design, deliver and evaluate programmes that address the big challenges facing the world.

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More information

Agency Banking TOR_Final draft.pdf

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