The United Nations Capital Development Fund (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. Established by the General Assembly in 1966 and with headquarters in New York, UNCDF is an autonomous UN organization affiliated with UNDP.
The Better Than Cash Alliance 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. 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 2 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 partners with governments, companies, and international organizations that are the key drivers behind the transition to make digital payments widely available by:
- Advocating for the transition from cash to digital payments in a way that advances financial inclusion and promotes responsible digital finance.
- Conducting research and sharing the experiences of our members to inform strategies for making the transition.
- 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.
Ghana Water Company Limited
Ghana Water Company is a utility company, fully owned by the state. The company is responsible for potable water supply to all urban communities in Ghana. Ghana Water Company Limited begun the process of transforming its billing processes in August 2016. The transformation process begun with the validation of existing customer database and subsequently capturing customer consumption electronically. The concluding part of the process, and arguably the most important part is the payment made by customers after they have been billed at the end of the month. One key objective to be achieved is the digitisation of customer payments.
Work has gone into integrating with all mobile platforms, some commercial banks, and other online (mobile) payment platforms. With such integration, customers are able to pay their water bills via mobile money (MTN, Vodafone, Tigo and Airtel); via their banks digital payment platforms and online payment platforms like ExpressPay and Slydepay. It is easier now to monitor in real time all payments that are received in respect of water bill collection, and the payments can directly reflect in the customers’ balances.
Duties and Responsibilities
Based in Accra Ghana, the individual Consultant will be working closely with the Better Than Cash Alliance to support the Ghana Water Company in the ongoing digitisation of water payments. The consultant will specifically:
- Review the current general architecture of the infrastructure and supporting processes and policies established with respect to the digital payments platform for Ghana Water Company Limited;
- Prioritize areas for improvement, recommend solutions to improve priority areas and advice GWCL on the approach to implementing such improvements;
- Develop an electronic/digital payment policy that conforms to the existing GWCL policies on customer payments. A part of the policy shall be dedicated to customer protection;
- Develop an electronic/digital payment strategy aimed at increasing the volumes of transactions conducted on the various digital payment platforms
- Training of deliverables.
Required Skills and Experience
- A Master’s degree in economics, public/business administration, ICT, social sciences, or related discipline or the equivalent experience;
- Additional training related to digital financial services is highly desirable.
- A minimum of five (5) years dedicated experience in digital finance, payment systems or electronic payments is required;
- A minimum of two (2) years working experience in the Ghana payments ecosystem sector;
- Experience in the formulation of strategies, policies and procedures in the area of digital payments at public or private sector level;
- Working knowledge of utility bill payments and current developments including innovative payment methods (e.g., mobile financial services, pre-paid cards, etc.) essential;
- Detailed knowledgeable about the Ghana payments landscape, including topical issues and digital payments regulatory environment;
- Understanding of issues related to financial inclusion.
- Excellent oral and written English communication skills;
- Knowledge of one the local languages (added advantage).