Philippines Merchant Payment Digitization Consultant



Advertised on behalf of :

Location : Manila, PHILIPPINES
Application Deadline :28-Sep-20 (Midnight New York, USA)
Time left :7d 11h 4m
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
30-Sep-2020
Duration of Initial Contract :60 days spread over 6 months, with possibility of extension
Expected Duration of Assignment :60 days oer 6 months, with possibility of extension


Background

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.

UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 47 least developed countries (LDCs). With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. This last mile is where available resources for development are scarcest; where market failures are most pronounced; and where benefits from national growth tend to leave people excluded.

UNCDF’s financing models work through two channels: savings-led financial inclusion that expands the opportunities for individuals, households, and small businesses to participate in the local economy, providing them with the tools they need to climb out of poverty and manage their financial lives; and by showing how localized investments — through fiscal decentralization, innovative municipal finance, and structured project finance — can drive public and private funding that underpins local economic expansion and sustainable development. UNCDF financing models are applied in thematic areas where addressing barriers to finance at the local level can have a transformational effect for poor and excluded people and communities.

By strengthening how finance works for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels, UNCDF contributes to SDG 1 on eradicating poverty with a focus on reaching the last mile and addressing exclusion and inequalities of access. At the same time, UNCDF deploys its capital finance mandate in line with SDG 17 on the means of implementation, to unlock public and private finance for the poor at the local level. By identifying those market segments where innovative financing models can have transformational impact in helping to reach the last mile, UNCDF contributes to a number of different SDGs and currently to 28 of 169 targets.

UNCDF hosts the Secretariat of the Better Than Cash Alliance.

The Better Than Cash Alliance is a partnership of 75 governments, companies and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments in order to reduce poverty, drive inclusive growth and accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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 -who are twice as likely to be excluded from the financial system, while giving governments, the development community and the private sector a more transparent, time and cost efficient, and often safer means of disbursing payments. Digitizing payments can also contribute to women’s economic participation by providing them with more control over family finances, increasing personal security, and improving economic opportunities.

The Alliance Secretariat works with its 75 members to navigate their digitization journeys, by:

  • Providing advisory services based on member priorities
  • Sharing action-oriented research and fostering peer learning
  • Conducting advocacy at national, regional and global level

The Better Than Cash Alliance Secretariat Core Values:

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


Duties and Responsibilities

Scope of Services

This role will support the in-country advisory services offered to the Government and Corporate Sector Alliance members in the Philippines. As identified by the ‘The State of Digital Payments in the Philippines ’country diagnostic published in 2019, merchant payments constitute the largest share of overall payments in country. Given that only 12-15% of all merchants accept digital payments there is much headroom for growth. The Philippines has also seen considerable growth of the e-commerce sector with recorded annual revenue of USD 3 Bn in 2019 and is slated to grow to USD 12 Bn by 2025 . While there is an increasing number of merchants who are leveraging digital platforms (e.g. social media and/or e-commerce platforms) to market their wares, payments for goods are still largely made through Cash-on-delivery (COD), which accounts for 85% of sales.

The COVID-19 crisis has emerged as a tipping point for digital payments in country. Notably, there has been a substianital increase in use of digital payments platforms in April and May 2020 . In this period, more than 4 million new digital accounts have also been opened among banks and non-bank electronic money issuers. This trend reflects an important mindset shift on the part of consumers in terms of digital payment adoption. A unique opportunity has emerged to leverage this momentum to focus efforts on addressing unique barriers faced by key merchant segments.

The Better than Cash Alliance together with the Government of the Philippines has convened a ‘Public-Private Working Group on Digitizing Merchant Payments’ that brings together different stakeholders (financial service and technology providers, Government, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies, merchants' associations) to co-create a more robust value proposition for small merchants to adopt digital payments both online and at physical stores.

Public -Private Working Group on Digitizing Merchant Payments in the Philippines

The working group is chaired by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and was inaugurated on 23 July 2020. It is established for a period of one year, with option to be renewed upon agreement by all working group members. Given the unique circumstances due to COVID-19, all meetings in 2020 will be conducted via videoconference. The Working Group is scheduled to meet every two months or as necessary with specific status updates on key objectives and deliverables; the tentative timelines for subsequent meetings this year are in September and November.

Its key objectives are to:

  1. Increase the use of digital payments in a responsible manner at both physical and online merchants by identifying specific adoption and use barriers
  2. Identify and agree on actor-specific actions to drive merchant payment digitization, including time-bound pilots focused on specific segments of merchants
  3. Serve as a consultation body for national strategies (e.g. e-commerce roadmap) and be a part of national advocacy campaigns on digital payments
  4. Share experiences, lessons learned, and collaborate on mutual research interests (e.g. merchant segmentation)

The Better than Cash Alliance seeks to hire a consultant based in Manila who will work closely with the Southeast Asia Lead to support the Government of the Philippines, through the BSP and DTI to enhance the adoption and use of digital payments by small merchants. Under the supervision and direction of the Southeast Asia Lead, key responsibilities are as follows.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables

A. With regards to the working group, the consultant will (85%)

  • Design and develop the Working Group meeting agenda and outcomes of each of the meetings, including the review and editing of minutes and prioritization and scheduling of next steps
  • In consultation with BSP and DTI, support the South East Asia Lead to organize and facilitate discussions with selected members relating to priority workstreams identified by the working group. These multi-stakeholder discussions will be held in preparation towards the two planned meetings this year.
  • Support the development and implementation of agreed working group activities which may include action research, national advocacy campaigns and time-bound pilots.
  • Document the learnings of the working group by monitoring key indicators to feed into donor and internal reports.
  • Support advocacy and coordinate communications and organizing of relevant events.
  • Monitor and identify advocacy opportunities for the Alliance, including potential targets, conferences, UN, regional and corporate events in the Philippines and the Asia Pacific Region.
  • Provide news and stories from Alliance member countries to the Alliance Secretariat Communications Team for social media and other communications channels, as needed.

B. Support the South East Lead on other in-country priorities including support to BSP on data-collection framework for digital payment diagnostic and support to DTI on defining the digital payments workstream of the National E-Commerce Roadmap 2022 (15%)

  • Support liaison with external consultants engaged for in-country advisory and implementation
  • Liaise with DTI e-commerce team and identify needs for technical expertise on digitization and cash reduction strategies if requested
  • Support the review and development of digital payments workstream of National E-Commerce Roadmap 2022

C. Expected Deliverables

There are four deliverables, each reflecting the developing needs by the Working Group. Sign-off by Better Than Cash Alliance’s South East Asia Lead for each progress report (1, 2, 3 and 4) will validate the successful delivery by the consultant. Expected delivery or submission date is contingent upon when the Working Group (WG) meetings have been set.

(i) Progress Report 1 - approved following WG meeting 2, 20% of allocated days/budget, submission by Mid- October 20200

(ii) Progress Report 2 - approved following WG meeting 3, 25% of allocated days/budget, submission by Mid-Dec 2020

(iii) Progress Report 3 - approved following WG meeting 4, 25% of allocated days/budget, submission by Mid-Feb 2020

(iv) Progress Report 4 - approved following WG meeting 5, 30% of allocated days/budget, submission by End March 2021

The range of outputs that will support the successful delivery of Progress Reports are outlined below:

(i) Preparing working group agenda and outcomes of planned meetings till March 2021. This includes review and editing of minutes, and prioritization and scheduling of next steps;

(ii) Preparing working group agenda and outcomes of planned meetings till March 2021. This includes review and editing of minutes, and prioritization and scheduling of next steps;

(iii) Preparing for and facilitation of meetings with individual workstreams identified by working group, including and not limited to calls, minutes, any other notes and background materials/presentations;

(iv) Implementation and program management support as agreed by working group including:

  • action research
  • national advocacy campaigns
  • time-bound pilots with working group members
  • inputs to e-payments workstream of e-commerce roadmap

(v) Supporting Southeast Asia Lead on related in-country initiatives such as:

  • Support to BSP on digital payment diagnostic data collection framework
  • Support to DTI on e-payments workstream in national e-commerce roadmap

(vii) Monitoring key indicators in support of the Asia Pacific and M&E teams to track activities to feed into donor and internal reports.

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

The consultant will work under the supervision of the Better Than Cash Alliance’s South East Asia Lead, working closely with other key colleagues across the globe, with supervision support from the Asia Pacific Regional Lead and from the Corporate Lead on corporate initiatives.

Duration of the Work

The assignment will have a duration of six months, limited to a total of 60 days. The performance control/monitoring mechanism will be applied from the start date. The contract may be extended subject to successful performance ana availability of funds.

Duty Station

The duty station is home-based in Manila, Philippines

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.

Payment Terms

This contract will be based on four Deliverables, as stated above and invoices approved by the supervisor;

The daily fee is all inclusive and shall take into account various expenses incurred by the consultant during the period of the contract, including professional fees, insurance, risks and inconveniences related to work under hardship and hazardous conditions, and any other relevant expenses related to the performance of services under the contract;

Travel

Business travel will be included under this contract and agreed with supervisor prior to travel and according to UNCDF/UNDP travel policy.


Competencies

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;
  • Excellent attention to detail, a proactive approach to achieving key results, a high level of thoroughness in a complex multitasking environment and a strict adherence to deadlines;
  • Strong inter-personal skills and a demonstrated capacity to forge effective relations with colleagues and counterparts from different backgrounds essential;

Functional Competencies:

Professional

  • 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;
  • Creates networks and promotes initiatives with partner organizations;
  • Creates an environment that fosters innovation and innovative thinking;

Technical:

  • 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.);
  • 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
  • Impeccable diplomatic skills, particularly in working with private sector executives
  • 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

Education: University degree in public/business administration, finance, engineering, economics, international affairs, development, political science, or other relevant fields. 5 years of professional experience may be considered in lieu of an advanced degree i.e. Masters.

Experience: 

  • A minimum of seven (7) years dedicated experience in digital finance, payment systems or electronic payments in the Philippines 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 emerging countries
  • Experience facilitating working groups or knowledge exchanges with demonstratable experience in events and project management.
  • Experience in the formulation of strategies in digital payments at public and/or private sector level
  • Experience working in digitization initiatives for small merchants, including links with suppliers and FMCG sector a plus

  • Research and/or practical experience in understanding customer and/or merchant behaviors a plus

  • 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 both verbally and in writing

Language: Written and spoken fluency in English is required.

Application Process

Interested individuals must submit the documents mentioned below as proposals in order to demonstrate their qualifications (Note: the system does not allow multiple uploads of documents. Applicants must make sure to upload all documents in one PDF file).

All applications must contain the following information:

Please make sure you have provided all requested materials. Failure to submit all the above mentioned documents may result in rejection of the application.

 

Evaluation Method:

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; and
  • Having received the highest score out of a pre-determined set of weighted technical (70%) and financial (30%) criteria.

Evaluation Criteria:

  • Step I: Longlisting (Screening based on specified criteria, please see below)
  • Step II: Technical Evaluation (70%): Desk Review and Interview – Desk review shall comprise 60% of the total technical score; interviews will have 40%.
  • Step III (30): Financial Proposal

Step I: Longlisting (Screening)

UNCDF will screen the candidates based on the following longlisting criteria:

  • University degree in public/business administration, finance, engineering, economics, international affairs, development, political science, or other relevant fields. 5 years of professional experience may be considered in lieu of an advanced degree i.e. Masters.
  • A minimum of seven (7) years dedicated experience in digital finance, payment systems or electronic payments in the Philippines required.

Step II: Shortlisting (Desk Review, to comprise 60% of Technical Score)

  • 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.): 25 points
  • Working knowledge of developing financial inclusion and payments strategies in emerging economies: 25 points
  • Experience facilitating working groups or knowledge exchanges with demonstratable experience in events and project management: 25 points
  • Experience in the formulation of strategies in digital payments at public and/or private sector level: 25 points

Step III: Interviews (To comprise 40% of Technical Score)

  • A competency-based Interview shall be conducted with the top three candidates who score the highest in Step II (minimum of 70 points). Candidates will be tested on the same key work areas as in Step II, in greater depth, and with the same weighting as noted in Step II.
  • Only candidates obtaining a minimum of 70% on the combined total score for Step II (Desk Review) and Step III  (Interview) will be considered as technically qualified and will be reviewed further for financial evaluation.

Step IV: Financial Evaluation

The following formula will be used to evaluate financial proposal:

Lowest priced proposal/price of the proposal being evaluated x 30%.

References

UNDP’s Individual Consultant’s General Terms and Conditions are provided here:

http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/documents/procurement/documents/IC%20-%20General%20Conditions.pdf

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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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