Mexico’s Public-Private Working Group on Merchant’s Adoption of Digital Payments Consultant

Advertised on behalf of :

Location : MEXICO
Application Deadline :19-Jul-19 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :


UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to inclusive finance and investment capital.  UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia and the Pacific, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis.  It can provide seed capital both grants and loans as well as technical support that will improve poor peoples’ lives.

UNCDF works to enlarge peoples’ choices: it believes that poor people and communities should take decisions about their own development. UNCDF works in challenging environments – remote rural areas, countries emerging from conflict – and paves the way for others to follow. Its programmes are designed to catalyze larger investment flows from the private sector, development partners and national governments, for significant impact on the Millennium Development Goals, especially Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger, Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women, and Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability.

Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with UNDP.

Based in UNCDF, the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) is a partnership of governments, companies and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty and drive inclusive growth by:

  • Advocating for the transition from cash to digital payments in a way that advances financial inclusion and promotes responsible digital finance.
  • Catalyzing the development of inclusive digital payments ecosystems in member countries to reduce costs, increase transparency, advance financial inclusion-- particularly for women-- and drive inclusive growth; and
  • Conducting research and sharing the knowledge and experiences of our members to inform strategies for making the transition.

Billions of dollars in cash payments and transfers are made daily in emerging and developing economies, including payment of salaries, social welfare and relief, payments to suppliers, remittances, etc. The problems with these cash payments include a lack of transparency, accountability and security, as well as inefficiency.

Furthermore, the individuals who receive the cash payments are often part of the 1.7 billion excluded from the formal financial sector.  This means they are excluded from access to a range of appropriate and affordable financial services to help them save safely take advantage of economic opportunities and reduce their vulnerability to risk.

Shifting these payments from cash to digital has the potential to improve the lives of low-income people, particularly women, while giving governments, the development community and the private sector a more transparent, time and cost efficient, and often-safer means of disbursing payments.

The Better Than Cash Alliance Team’s Core Values are the following: 

  • Achieving together
  • Striving for excellence
  • Service oriented
  • Results oriented

BTCA is looking to hire a Consultant with Expertise in . For more information on BTCA, please visit the website:

This project is part of the In-country advisory services offered to the Government and Corporate Sector in Mexico. The Government of Mexico announced in January a series of initiatives aimed to reduce the use of cash and a renewed focus on digital payment platforms especially for small merchants’ digitization. Beyond the payment technology and infrastructure necessary for digital payments, many private and public sector stakeholders in Mexico highlighted the importance to look at measures on how to increase the adoption and use of digital payments by small merchants. Increasing adoption of digital payments for small merchants entails to co-create a robust value proposition for small merchants and implementing the right incentives to overcome barriers preventing small merchants from adopting and using digital payments across digital channels. Furthermore, the transition towards digitization requires the different stakeholders (financial service and technology providers, Governments, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, and other organizations as merchants' associations, for example) to build together a more robust e inclusive digital ecosystem.

  • The public-private working Group on Adoption of Digital Payments by Small Merchants

Led and hosted by the SHCP (Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico), the Better Than Cash Alliance is working with the Government of Mexico to support a public-private working group focused on increasing adoption of digital payments among small retailers in Mexico. This working group will be facilitated by a Consultant funded by the Alliance, who will work closely with the SHCP in defining strategic goals, agenda, participants and expected outcomes out of each meeting.

Working Group goals

The primary objective of the working group would be to define a set of incentives needed at the ecosystem level to support the small retailers to accept and use digital payments. It is expected that the main discussion’s outcome would be a set of measures to incentivize adoption of digital payments to be implemented in a pilot in Q12020.

Building on existing collaboration, this working group will feed into the CONAIF’s current scheme of working groups and will have fluid communication with the Business Model Working Group.

It is expected that the Adoption Working group will have frequent meetings from August  to December 2019 and will lean on the lessons extracted from BTCA's research work on FMCG in Mexico. Participants will meet at least 3 times in the above-mentioned period.

Among the potential participants could be: SHCP, Banxico, ASM (Association of Banks), CNBV, FMCG companies, large retailers, SAT (Tax and formalization), Fintech Association, BANSEFI, payments facilitators, small merchants’ Association. New participants could be incorporated once the working group if necessary.

This working group will be facilitated by a consultant funded by the Alliance and the main outcomes will be: a) presentation of successful international and national experience b) the definition of incentives to increase adoption of digital payments by small merchants, b) the design of a pilot to test the incentives to be implemented in 2020 (Q1).

Duties and Responsibilities

Based in Mexico, the Consultant will be working closely with the Better Than Cash Alliance LAC Lead and the Private Sector Lead to support the Government of Mexico, through the Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico (SHCP), to enhance the adoption and use of digital payments by small merchants.

Scope of Work

Based in Mexico City, and under the supervision and direction of the Alliance Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Lead, the individual consultant will work closely with the Secretary of Finance and Public Credit (Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico-SHCP) holding the following key responsibilities:

A.  With regards to the working group, the consultant will: (75% of consultant’s time)

  1. Design and develop the Working Group thematic agenda and activities and expected outcomes of each of the meetings.
  2. In consultation with the SHCP define and recruit organizations and group members to participate in the working group ensuring different stakeholders are represented.
  3. Prepare the discussions for each working group session
  4. Lead the working group discussions, creating an environment that promotes group members active participation
  5. Share lessons learned with CONAIF’s Business Models Working Group and with other Government agencies or other stakeholders when required.
  6. Consult with the consulting company leading the Research on digitization of  FMCG sector to get insights and share lessons learned.
  7. Ensure Working Group reaches agreements on measures to incentivize the merchant’s adoption of digital payments
  8. Obtain buy-in from different stakeholders to test the incentives in a pilot in 2020.
  9. Present findings and lessons learned to the Alliance’s key team members, Working Group, BTCA Editorial and Publications Committee and other stakeholders.

B.  Support SHCP and built its internal capacity: (25% of consultant’s time)

  1. Advice SHCP team and provide technical expertise on digitization and cash reduction strategies if requested.
  2. Develop a capacity building and training schedule to transfer skills to the SHCP team

D.  Document the learnings on Working group consensus and dissemination: At the end of the project, the overall experiences and lessons learnt should be documented in a final public learning paper, that will be written in close consultation with SHCP and the Alliance.


Expected Outputs and Deliverables

The Deliverables shall include:


Target Completion


Review & approvals Required Prior to authorization of payment

Payment terms in % of total contract price

August 5th, 2019

1. Working Group goals, composition, agenda, plan and strategy to achieve the goals, as defined and agreed with SHCP.

BTCA LAC Regional Lead and Private Sector Lead


December 10th, 2019

2. Presentation of key agreements to SHCP and the Better Than Cash Alliance, as well as the Working Group and other stakeholders

BTCA LAC Regional Lead


January 5st, 2020

3. Final deck (25 slides max, excluding annexes) (+ translation of the PPT in English) with three components: 1) Incentives to the adoption and 2) Pilot designed to test the incentives in 2020, 3) Lessons learned to be shared with other member countries.


BTCA LAC Regional Lead, EPC


February 15th, 2020

4. Learning paper on the experience to share lessons learned with other Alliance members, written in close consultation with SHCP and the Alliance


BTCA LAC Regional Lead, EPC and SHCP


March 1st, 2020

5.Capacity building and training schedule to transfer of skills to the SHCP team


BTCA LAC Regional Lead, Head of BTCA Digital Payments Innovation Hub







The key results expected:

  • Ensure participants in the working group learn from each other experience and build consensus around the issue of overcoming barriers preventing small merchant to accept and use digital payments; therefore, increasing the scale of use of digital payments among small merchants.

Ensure participants agree on a set of incentives to be implemented in a pilot in 2020

Any delay in the completion of the outputs, if not attributed to the performance of the consultant, shall be addressed through a no-cost time extension.

Institutional Arrangement

Under the supervision and direction of the BTCA LAC Regional Lead, the Consultant, based in Mexico will be working closely with the Better Than Cash Alliance LAC Lead and the Private Sector Lead to support the Government of Mexico, through the Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico (SHCP), to enhance the adoption and use of digital payments by small merchants.

Duration of the Work

This is an assignment that will have an initial duration of 180 working days.  However, the performance control/ monitoring mechanism will be applied from the start date.

Duty Station

  • The duty station/location for the contract duration is Mexico;
  • If there is any approved travel, UNCDF will pay separately travel expenses (economy airfare, terminal expenses and per diems which include hotel and food expenses) according to standard UN rates based on evidence of approved and actual travel.


Core Competencies:

  • Demonstrates ethics and integrity;
  • Demonstrates political acumen and calculated risk taking;
  • Impeccable diplomatic skills and knowledge of protocol; essential;
  • Demonstrated excellent writing, editing and communications skills to an international standard including correspondence, reports, talking points and briefing material; essential;
  • Builds own competence, creating an environment of creativity and innovation;
  • Creates and promotes open communication;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  • Conducts fair and transparent decision making;
  • Displays cultural and gender sensitivity and adaptability;
  • Shows strong corporate commitment.

Functional Competencies:


  • Project management lifecycle Ensures the full implementation of a project to obtain results;
  • Conceptualizes more effective approaches to programme development and implementation and to mobilizing and using resources;
  • Anticipates constraints in the delivery of services and identifies solutions or alternatives;
  • Makes effective use of UNCDF’s and other BTCA member resources and comparative advantage to strengthen partnerships;
  • Creates networks and promotes initiatives with partner organizations;
  • Creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking;


  • Working knowledge of current developments in payment technologies, including innovative payment methods (e.g., digital government, mobile financial services, pre-paid/reloadable/other cards, etc.);
  • Experience working digitizing small merchants within FMCGs distribution chains in Mexico is highly desirable;
  • Experience in the formulation of strategies, policies and procedures in the area of digital payments at public or private sector level; 
  • Solid skills in market assessments, business case/strategy development and data analysis/management (spreadsheets, data visualization tools like Tableau, etc.);
  • Understanding of key issues and international good practice relating to financial inclusion and digital payments;
  • Excellent presentation and representation skills in multicultural contexts;
  • Ability to translate complex technical ideas to a non-technical audience in both verbally and in writing.

Required Skills and Experience


  •  Advanced university degree (Master’s level) in Economy, Finance, Business Administration.
  •  Additional training in Digital Financial Services is highly desirable


  •  A minimum of seven (7) years dedicated experience in digital finance, payment systems or electronic payments in Mexico required;
  • Working knowledge of current developments in payment technologies, including innovative payment methods (e.g., mobile financial services, QR codes, pre-paid/reloadable/other cards, etc.);
  • Working knowledge of developing financial inclusion and payments strategies in developing countries;
  • Experience in the formulation of strategies in the area of digital payments at public or private sector level;
  • Experience working in digitization initiatives for small merchants, including link with suppliers and FMCG sector a plus;
  • Experience facilitating working groups or knowledge exchanges;
  • Understanding of key issues and international good practice relating to digital payments and financial inclusion;
  • Excellent presentation and representation skills in multicultural contexts;
  • Ability to translate complex technical ideas to a non-technical audience in both verbally and in writing.


Written and spoken fluency in English and Spanish is required.

Scope of Price Proposal and Schedule of Payments

Payments will be made based on the percentage of contract price corresponding to the deliverables stated in Section D above, and upon confirmation of UNCDF that the individual has delivered on the contract obligations in a satisfactory manner. 

Recommended Presentation of Offer

The following documents are requested:

  • Personal CV indicating all past experience from similar projects, as well as the contact details (email and telephone number) of the Candidate and at least three (3) professional references;
  • Brief description of why the individual considers him/herself as the most suitable for the assignment, and a methodology, if applicable, on how they will approach and complete the assignment.
  • Financial Proposal that indicates the all-inclusive Daily Fee price using the Letter of Confirmation of Interest and Availability.. If an Offeror is employed by an organization/company/institution, and he/she expects his/her employer to charge a management fee in the process of releasing him/her to UNCDF under Reimbursable Loan Agreement (RLA), the Offeror must indicate at this point, and ensure that all such costs are duly incorporated in the financial proposal submitted to UNCDF. 

Criteria for Selection of the Best Offer

Consultants will be evaluated based on UNDP’s cumulative analysis method. When using this weighted scoring method, the award of the contract shall be made to the consultant whose offer has been evaluated and determined as:

  • Responsive/compliant/acceptable vis-à-vis the requirements of the TOR and the project operating environment; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (70%) and financial (30%) criteria.

The Better Than Cash Alliance will conduct a review of a profile (technical evaluation) that matches applicants experience and expertise to the key tasks outlined in the consultancy. These are detailed under each of the following Key work areas noted above:

  • Programme Development and Management (20 points);
  • Programme Support (50 points);
  • Stakeholder and Partner Consultation (30 points).

Only the top candidates obtaining a minimum of 70 points in the review of profile will be considered for Technical Interviews.  Technical interviews will explore the same key work areas, in greater depth, with the same weighting.

Technical proposal = Review of a profile through desk review (30%) + Technical Interview (40%).

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

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