Request for Proposal
(Consulting Firm / Individual Consultant Selection)

Title: Consultancy services for ‘Developing Interoperable operating rules and guidelines of Mobile Financial Services (MFS) and Digital Financial Services(DFS) Providers and Banks’

Project Overview 

Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B) is a £25 million Project funded by UK aid / DFID from the UK government. The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the central bank of Bangladesh and Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), are the implementing agencies, and the Financial Institutions Division (FID) of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), Government of Bangladesh (GOB), is the executing agency. Nathan Associates London Ltd has been contracted as the management agency for the programme.

Brief Description of Assignment

The Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) of BFP-B Project, chaired by Secretary, Financial Institutions Division of Ministry of Finance, is a 17 members body including senior officials from government agencies, regulatory bodies (Bangladesh Bank, Microcredit Regulatory Authority, Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority), apex organisations, financial sector associations and chambers of commerce. The PAC approved a total 8 policy issues for detailed study. BFP-B conducted a study on ‘Mobile Financial Services for MSEs in Bangladesh: Prospects and Challenges’ during the period of June to September 2017. This study incorporated significant one-to-one stakeholder consultations and public consultations. Based on guidance of senior management of Bangladesh Bank, BFP-B organised a series of in-depth meetings with the Payment Systems Department (PSD) of Bangladesh Bank to identify and prioritise recommendations that will be supported by Bangladesh Bank for implementation. Two policy recommendations were identified by PSD for implementations and approved by Bangladesh Banks senior management. This include development of guideline for interoperable1 operating rules and guidelines for MFS, DFS providers and banks. A guideline on interoperable operating system will reinforce PSD’s initiatives in developing interoperability infrastructure across MFS and DFS providers and banks. This consultancy service is part of BFP-B technical assistance to PSD.

Overall Objective:

The purpose of the assignment is to provide expert opinion and consultancy support to PSD to develop a guideline focussing on business side of interoperability for banks, MFS and DFS providers.

Expected Deliverables

A team of PSD and BFP-B will work with consulting firm/consultant. Consultant will deliver the following outputs:

  • Inception report containing methodology, outline of guideline with key headings and work plan (main report should not exceed 10 pages and information collection instruments  should be provided in the annex)
  • Prepare a draft on interoperable operating rule and guideline with rationale of each sections and clauses of the document. The guideline will be in two parts-1) Draft interoperable operating rules and guideline in both English and Bangla, 2) Rationale and analysis of each section and clause of the guidelines in annex. This version will include comments of PSD and service providers.
  • Second draft on interoperable operating rule and guideline with rationale supporting the clauses. The comments from Payment Systems Department (PSD) and BFP-B should be incorporated. The second draft guideline should be in both English and Bangla. (Note: this is the final version of the guideline from consultant side)
  • Power Point presentation of the guideline with rationale and analysis of each section.
  • 2-pagers summary infographic. This includes analysis with rationale of each section of guideline, the constraints of service providers, lack of use case for customers and showing the impact of interoperability guideline on service providers and overall financial inclusion with data.

Experience, Resources and Delivery Capacity Requirement: 

The consulting firm/consultant is expected to propose a team in technical proposal which will have implication on financial proposal. The proposed team should have a combination of experts with international and national experience and a local team who will work directly with PSD and BFP-B on site for any meetings or analysis session as and when required.
The expected core team composition for this consultancy service include the following:

1.International Team Leader: The team leader should have at least 5 years of experience in the area of interoperability / Payment Systems Regulation / Policy and/or Mobile Financial Services (MFS) and/or Mobile Money, KYC /e-KYC, anti-money laundering, USSD Regulation/Policy, Digital Financial Services and Financial Inclusion.

2. Local Expert: The Local Expert should have at least 10 years of experience in banking, payment systems regulation and policy of Bangladesh.  The Local Expert should have at least 3 year of experience in MFS, mobile money and DFS operations and policies, and also payment settlement system in Bangladesh.

3. Research Associate: The Research Associate should have at least 5 year of experience in financial sector research and policy analysis.

The international Team Leader is expected to work both on site and off site particularly during key meetings. The Local Expert will closely work with PSD of BB and if required, to be based in PSD of BB for a certain period. Other team members maybe required to be resident consultant in PSD.

The consulting firm / consultant may include other team members such as Policy and Regulation Expert, Research Assistant, Data Analyst and research enumerators if required. It is the discretion of the consulting firm / consultant whether to include the additional team members, which will have implication on financial proposal. 

Qualification of Consulting firm/Consultant: The consulting firm/consultant must be registered with a legal entity/ relevant licenses under legal authorizations. The firm should have at least 2 years of research experience in the area of interoperability / Payment Systems Regulation / Policy and/or Mobile Financial Services (MFS) and/or Mobile Money, KYC /e-KYC, anti-money laundering, USSD Regulation/Policy, Digital Financial Services and Financial Inclusion.

Procurement Method: The Applicant shall be shortlisted in accordance with the Quality and Cost-Based Selection (QCBS) method by following the procurement guidelines of UKaid/DFID. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. BFP-B Project reserves the right to accept or reject any or all RFPs.

How to Apply: The application to be submitted according to BFP-B / Nathan Associates prescribed RFP format. The RFP Application form can also be downloaded from website: The completed RFP application must be delivered  through email to  and

Submission Deadline and time:  22nd h September 2019 before 5.00 pm (Bangladesh Standard Time)

Contact: Interested Applicants may obtain further information and RFP Application Form through email to Tanzila Tajreen, Policy Coordinator, BFP-B project, Email: or  Rashed Al Hasan, Policy Manager, BFP-B Project, Email:

1 Interoperability is the technical compatibility that enables a payment system to be used in conjunction with other payment systems. Interoperability allows payment service providers, system providers and system participants in different systems to undertake, clear and settle payment transactions across systems without participating in multiple systems. For payment systems, “interoperability” depends not only on the technical ability of two platforms to interact but also the contractual relationships between the entities wanting to interact.