UNDP Home-Based and Solomon Islands Issues Market Research RFP
Provide consultancy – market research and assessment includes using a relevant sample size of current and potential customers of bmobile, this research is to establish the customer demand and needs requirement for a mobile money solution. This will be to identify the right customer value proposition.
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.
Scope of Work:
Detailed research and assessment of market conditions
Using a relevant sample size of current and potential customers of Bmobile this research is to establish the customer demand and needs requirement for a mobile money solution. This will be to identify the right customer value proposition. This research includes, but is not limited to the following areas:
a) Customer readiness and demand
b) Product preferences by customers to feed into product development strategy
c) Existing market players and their offerings
d) Potential partners
e) Regulatory requirements
f) Potential considerations for KYC requirements
g) Product pricing and business case
h) Point of sale/access: Assess readiness of available distribution network and suggest suitable alternatives
The expert/s will conduct a thorough assessment of Bmobile as to their internal capacity for developing and deploying MFS in Solomon Islands. This will cover, but is not limited to:
- Staff capacity,
- Financial resources,
- Corporate strategy,
- Technical capacity,
- Any other capacities required to successfully launch an MFS.
The consultant is expected to provide recommendations regarding new and additional resources required covering all the above aspects and those that are relevant to manage an MFS deployment. The consultant is also expected to assess the available opportunities for Bmobile to establish suitable partnerships to launch and progress the MFS as a new line of business.
The expert/s will develop at least three detailed financial scenarios for an MFS deployment to be considered by Bmobile management and board.
Based on the above-mentioned assessments the consultants will submit an evidence-based report that will enable Bmobile’s senior management to decide whether or not to launch MFS in the Solomon Islands.
Outputs and Deliverables:
The main deliverables from each of the aforesaid activities will be as follows:
- A market research report to be considered by Bmobile’s board and UNCDF-PFIP, detailing an assessment for customers’ need and demand for a mobile money service, customer feedback on possible products, service design, pricing, agent network design, product and service pricing, risks and fraud, among others.
- An institutional readiness report resulting from the institutional assessment of Bmobile’s readiness and capacity to deploy a mobile money wallet service in the Solomon Islands. This report will be accompanied by detailed recommendations for closing the gaps that may have been identified. The recommendations may include possibilities of capacity improvements, inclusion of missing skillsets, a proposal for the management structure that will effectively deploy and manage the mobile money wallet service, among others.
- At least three (3) alternative detailed business case scenarios for an MFS deployment to be considered by Bmobile management and board. This should be accompanied by projections for break-even and profitability, costs of deployment and management, revenues and pricing of services and products.
w2O Group has extensive relevant experience.