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Digital Financial Services Consultant VisionFund Zambia

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VFZ Savings At The Frontier Project Product Review

Digital Financial Services Consultant

Introduction

VisionFund Zambia is a Christian owner-operated mission-driven microfinance network working with caregivers in hard to reach, impoverished locations so they can create secure futures for their children. Inspired by Christian values, we are dedicated to working with the most vulnerable families and communities regardless of religion, race, ethnicity gender, to create lasting change in their lives.

VisionFund serves low income clients living in vulnerable and rural communities by offering financial and livelihood solutions, delivered through our Network, World Vision and partners; empowering families to create income and jobs; and unlocking economic potential for communities to thrive. The products and services offered fall into five broad categories: microloans, savings programmes, micro insurance, training and education. Benefits include sustainable livelihoods, increased economic well-being, improved community well-being, decreased dependence on outside aid and restoration of hope and dignity.

Background

VisionFund Zambia has developed a digital solution for both Informal Savings Mechanisms and their members to open voluntary savings accounts. We seek a consultant to conduct a rapid evaluation of our savings products to understand the customer perception of the group and individual savers. VisionFund Zambia knows that when people can save, borrow and conduct basic financial transactions, they thrive. The most fundamental and addressable barriers to financial inclusion are access, appropriateness of product design, and affordability. This study will provide a scan of the customer needs driving new kinds of tweaks on the products and services we are currently offering to enhance uptake and customer experience.

Objective

  • The study show provide answers to the slow acquisition and lack of usage has resulted in lots of dormant accounts such that even after time use there are no repeat transactions on many accounts.
  • It is not clear why even many existing members of Solidarity Groups do not open voluntary savings accounts and so the review should provide clarity on this problem as well.

Scope of Work

The DFS Consultant will be expected to complete and present a thorough analysis of VFZ Savings Product portfolio in One (1) month before June 2021 as described below. The DFS Consultant will be responsible for the following work:

  • Conduct and complete a review to understand the customer perception of the group and individual savings accounts (1 weeks)
  • Review and evaluate the growth strategy of VFZ for acquisition and usage. (1 weeks)
  • Review existing members of Solidarity Groups to understand their perception on opening voluntary savings accounts (1 Weeks).
  • Preparations and presentation of report. (1 Weeks)

The DFS Consultant will report directly to the Chief Operations Officer. VFZ expects to be engaged for periodic reviews and feedback sessions, as well as for touch points to determine next steps and needed analysis. VFZ will sign off on the finished product.

A: Scope

Product review and Customer experience testing: Target populations, product design and Customer Value Proposition (CVP), Customer Relationship Officers (CROs) and Village Agents/Community Agents, deployment and management for the VFZ product

B: Target:

  1. Review Linked Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA)
    1. Active users
    2. Non-Active users
    3. Voluntary goal-based group savings e.g. for loan access for business, inputs, education, insurance etc for Solidarity Group Loan clients
    4. Group loans for on-lending OR/AND loans to individual members for our Savings Group Linkage Loans.
  2. Review Non-linked VSLA (but trained in product and services)
  3. Review Linked VSLA members
    1. Active users
    2. inactive users
  4. Non-linked VSLA members
  5. Solidarity loan groups (review voluntary savings, goal-based savings for loan access for business, inputs, education, insurance etc.) frequency of savings, amounts, channel preferred )
  6. Farmer groups (review & evaluate preferred structure – e.g. VSLA or Solidarity Loan Groups, voluntary savings, goal based savings for loan access for business, inputs, education, insurance etc.) frequency of savings, amounts, channel preferred, access to phones) other services desired
  7. Other groups- church groups, youth groups e.t.c- goals and aspirations, access and use of finance
  8. MNO and other service Agents- challenges working with Groups, liquidity management, connectivity, support and training
  9. CROS and VAs
  10. Review and Evaluate Project management, marketing and IT staff involved in product offer

C: Design

  1. Product review
    1. User experience testing peri urban and rural groups- linked active, linked zero balances, linked inactive – use customer persona maps
    2. Use cases for product improvement and development- use product journey maps as well
    3. Financial and non-Financial needs
    4. Access to phones, Agents and risks of the MNO agent to group access and use
    5. Stories of change attributable to product
    6. Other financial intermediaries used and why? Products and services used and recommendations for VFZ product improvement
  2. Channels review
  3. Accessibility, affordability, usability
  4. Preferred channels
  5. Access to phones and agents
  6. Challenges faced with channels use
  1. Project Team deployment
  2. Terms and conditions/ resource needs and deployment practice
  3. Operating challenges and opportunities (front and back end ops) light touch KYC and ODK capabilities to enhance customer and product journey
  4. Performance management/ terms of engagement challenges and opportunities
  5. Recommendations

Qualifications

  • A degree in technology, economics, public/business administration, social sciences, marketing or related discipline or the equivalent experience is mandatory. A Masters degree is preferred.
  • Experience delivering high quality research products on financial inclusion, digital financial products, or related for external clients
  • Familiarity with identifying, mapping and analyzing financial service industry opportunities in developing markets
  • Knowledge of models for financial inclusion (MFIs) and digital financial services industries (mobile money, e-payments, peer-to-peer payments) in emerging markets, including industry trends and product/service roadmaps
  • Preferable Members of the Zambia Association for Digital Finance Practitioners (ADFP)/Chartered Digital Finance Practitioners (CDFP)
  • Preferable a Member of the Zambia Institute of Marketing

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Interested applicants should send a cover letter accompanied by a CV to the address below clearly indicating the POSITION being applied for to the attention of the.               
 The People & Culture Manager

 Plot 6810, Chiwalamabwe

Olympia Park

P.O. Box 33911

Lusaka, Zambia

OR

email: employment@vfz.co.zm


Closing date 9th April 2021.

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