The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) and the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) have announced a call for project ideas that would improve the low-income population’s access to financial services by applying innovative technological solutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The three organizations announced the launch of the program Technologies for Financial Inclusion and issued a call for proposals to private enterprises, providers of technological services, NGOs, cooperatives, associations, finance companies, banks, foundations and other groups.
Technologies for Financial Inclusion is an innovative instrument that gives priority to collaborative projects and creation of knowledge among participating institutions, enabling them to make a joint effort to create an accessible knowledge base of the best practices and lessons learned about using technology in access to financial services.
Project ideas selected will receive US$25,000 to US$50,000 to develop a project strategy, and up to US$500,000 to implement it. The awards will depend on each project’s rationale, its cost-benefit ratio and its approval.
Some examples of ideas to be considered include development, integration and implementation of technological solutions for:
- Providing varied financial services to the rural or unserved population through non-bank agents or mobile units.
- Offering new financial services such as savings, payments or money transfer systems, and/or broadening services to customers who cannot be served by existing technology.
- Implementing information management systems profitably for a network of entities, using both open standards and approaches based on web platforms, among others.
- Becoming more efficient and reducing costs, and improving financial and operating performance.
- Establishing local broadband networks that can improve connection capacity and ability for microfinance institutions and other financial institutions and networks of agencies.
- Facilitating financial institutions’ access to the regulatory requirements for operating through information and technology systems.
- Increasing financial inclusion for people with disabilities or groups that are socially discriminated against (for example, using voice recognition systems or indigenous languages).
Interested groups must enter the website, register and provide information about their idea between May 10 and June 14, 2010.
Technologies for Financial Inclusion can also supply technical assistance resources for ideas in more developed stages, as well as for ideas that would implement pilot projects or test a technology, in order to spur learning about relevant issues in the region.
All information about the program and its organizers, important dates, FAQs, and forms for participating are available at www.tec-in.org.
For more information or to raise questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.