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BFA is a global consulting firm specializing in financial services for low-income people. Our approach is to seek out, create and implement financial solutions to help people manage challenges and seize opportunities. We partner with cutting-edge organizations, such as financial institutions, fintech companies and information providers, that touch the lives of low-income consumers. In creating solutions, we integrate our deep expertise in customer insights, business strategy, new technology, and growth-enabling policy and regulation. Founded in 2006, BFA’s clients include donors, investors, financial institutions, policymakers, insurers and payment service providers. BFA has offices in Nairobi, Delhi, Boston, Medellín and New York.

We are looking for candidates who enjoy working independently in a high-energy environment. These positions are for immediate hire.


Location : New York, NY
About:

Deputy Director, Inclusive Fintech Practice

Posted: February 15th, 2018

BFA is looking for a Deputy Director for our Inclusive Fintech Practice.

We are looking for a Deputy Director for our Inclusive Fintech Practice area who can help manage the product managers, data scientists, and engineers on the team. In particular, we are looking for a systems and design thinker who is passionate and proficient at identifying key components in a given software architecture or data pipeline, and how they fit together to fit the needs of the various customers or users. This person must be aware of the latest tools and trends in fintech (i.e. Machine Learning, Open Data, Mobile SDKs, Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts, etc) and best practices (i.e. which databases are appropriate in what scenario, API protocols, when to use which ML models, etc) in technology. The person should also have experience leading a team, and incorporating lean product management practices in previous roles.

BFA has worked with financial service providers (institutions, SMEs, and startups) across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and expect this Deputy Directory to play a critical role in creating products that help these providers to:

  1. Target sales and support of their services to the right segment of customers and potential clients
  2. Change their marketing strategies to pinpoint customers with particular needs
  3. Make operations more efficient to better serve customers and drive sustainable margins
  4. Create and maintain partnerships with technical vendors to create products and processes that ultimately benefit low-income customers

As you roll up your sleeves and collaborate with a team to lead the creation of groundbreaking products and features, you’ll be contributing to work that is designed to bring tangible positive change to the financial lives of disadvantaged communities around the world. And travel to a lot of them too.

The full-time position is based in New York City. Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

What You’ll Do

As a Deputy Director, your responsibilities will include oversight of the following activities, as
well as direct involvement when required:

Innovation and Thought Leadership:

  1. Proactively incorporate cutting-edge theoretical and practical methodologies while implementing technology-driven solutions
  2. Create and disseminate knowledge products (presentations at high-profile industry events, blog posts, focus notes, case studies, white papers, best practice documents etc.) through appropriate channels
  3. Keep up with the upcoming trends in technology and constantly strive to learn and improve on the same

Team Management

  1. Work with our talented group of product managers, data scientists, and prototype hackers to ensure the production of high-quality deliverables
  2. Conduct regular 1-on-1s with team members to foster growth, profile building goals, and professional development

Client Management:

  1. Review raw requirements to understand key outcomes expected by clients
  2. Interact with the client on a regular basis to provide regular project status updates, and resolve any issues
  3. Coordinate with other BFA team members to produce high-quality deliverables
  4. Present analysis to the client along with senior stakeholders in the organization

Technology and Data Products:

  1. Devise and foster data-driven strategy with our clients and partners, ranging from pre-seed startups to financial institutions, to regulators and financial authorities
  2. Prototype and deploy web and mobile applications, and machine learning algorithms when appropriate
  3. Provide guidance to BFA colleagues in other teams on data-related tasks

Miscellaneous:

  1. Coordinate knowledge dissemination within the company through “BFA University,” brown bags, and BFA’s Google+ Community
  2. Support recruitment efforts by conducting technical face-to-face interviews
  3. Train current and new team members on technical skillsets to increase throughput and improve redundancy
  4. Provide input to RFPs when they have components related to technology
  5. Additional tasks will depend on project requirements determined by our client-driven work.

Qualifications

The ideal candidate for the position must have the following qualifications:

  1. Advanced degree (Masters or Ph.D.) in Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Engineering or equivalent
  2. Experience serving in mid-to-high level management positions, preferably with digital/data products (i.e. CTO, Program Manager, Development Manager, Director, etc)
  3. Experience working in a wide variety of contexts, i.e. an ability to sit with central bankers, a bank’s head of innovation, a start-up engineer, members of a rural savings groups, etc
  4. Must demonstrate from past experience that she/he sees tech as one means to a stated solution, and not a solution in and of itself
  5. Must be willing and excited to travel globally
  6. Must demonstrate the ability to think on your feet, i.e. a “hacker” mentality
  7. Ability to manage a team in an effective manner while balancing several assignments with inputs from multiple clients, partners, and team members

Any of the following will be considered a plus:

  1. Familiarity with financial inclusion and financial services innovation for low-income populations, economic development or social business sector.
  2. Familiarity working with different cultures and languages
  3. Deployment of machine learning algorithms within a scalable, production architecture
  4. Spoken and written language proficiency other than English

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for follow up.

 


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Location : Colombia
About:

Python Programmer, Inclusive Fintech Practice

Posted: May 15th, 2018

BFA is looking for a Python Programmer who has proficient data analytics skills and enjoys working independently in a high-energy environment. This position is for immediate hire.

Detailed analytics is one of the pillars of the evidence-based work we do. We’ve sifted through mountains of data from service providers across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and Europe to answer questions similar to:

• Are there repeating patterns in saving behavior across millions of poor savers?

• What payment plans best serve buyers of solar panels where there is no grid?

• Can facial recognition technology provide cost-efficient biometric IDs in ID-sparse places?

• How can geospatial data and tracks help optimize cash handling and service delivery tasks?

As you roll up your sleeves and dive into making sense of the data, you’ll be contributing to projects that are designed to bring tangible positive change to the financial lives of disadvantaged communities around the world. And travel to a lot of them too.

The full-time position is based in Medellin, Colombia.

Compensation will be commensurate with experience.

What You’ll Do

As a Python Programmer, your responsibilities will include:

Requirement Understanding and Data Discovery:

  • Review raw requirements to understand key outcomes expected by clients
  • Identify, join, explore data from multiple disparate sources and formats
  • Reduce large quantities of unstructured or formless data into a form which can be analyzed

Data Analysis and Reporting:

  • Understand portfolios, user behaviors, and long-term trends
  • Devise quantitative research strategies to inform project outcomes
  • Implement statistical and computational algorithms to analyze the client data and provide insights into how people borrow and save, use financial products, interact with financial institutions etc.
  • Prototype and deploy machine learning algorithms when appropriate o Support and expand on existing tools and modules currently in use at BFA
  • Integrate analysis with qualitative and quantitative output from others at BFA
  • Provide guidance to BFA colleagues in other teams on data-related tasks

Innovation and Thought Leadership:

  • Proactively incorporate cutting-edge theoretical and practical methodologies while implementing data analytics algorithms
  • Create and disseminate knowledge articles (blog posts, focus notes, case studies, white papers, best practice documents etc.) through appropriate channels
  • Keep up with the upcoming trends in data analytics and constantly strive to learn and improve on the same

Client Management:

  • Interact with the client on a regular basis to provide regular project status update, and resolve any issues
  • Coordinate with other BFA team members to produce high-quality deliverables
  • Present analysis to the client along with senior stakeholders in the organization

Miscellaneous:

  • Coordinate knowledge dissemination within the company through “BFA University,” brown bags, and BFA’s Google+ Community
  • Support recruitment efforts by conducting technical face-to-face interviews o Train current and new team members on data analytics processes to increase throughput and improve redundancy
  • Provide input to RFPs when they have components related to data analytics

Additional tasks will depend on project requirements determined by our client-driven work.

Qualifications

The ideal candidate for the position must have the following qualifications:

• Advanced degree (Masters or Ph.D.) in Computer Science, Statistics, Mathematics, Engineering or equivalent

• Expert-level proficiency in Python

• At least intermediate proficiency in at least one statistical analysis package (R, Stata, SPSS, SAS etc.)

• 3+ years of relevant expertise in project-based work

• Familiarity with SQL-based databases

• Good grasp of data structures, algorithms, machine learning and optimization techniques

• Exposure to mining massive datasets

• A keen eye for how to tell a story visually with data

• Ability to complete tasks in a timely manner while balancing several assignments with inputs from multiple team members

• Excellent spoken and written English

 

Any of the following will be considered a plus:

• Familiarity with financial inclusion and financial services innovation for low-income populations, economic development or social business sector.

• Familiarity working with different cultures and languages

How to Apply

Please click the ‘Apply Now’ button to complete the application process as directed, including attaching both your cover letter and CV.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for follow-up. Relocation from elsewhere in Colombia will be considered.

 


Apply Now
Location : Medellin, Colombia (May be flexible for other locations in Latin America)
About:

Qualitative UX Researcher, Customer Insights

Posted: May 25th, 2018

We are looking for a Qualitative UX Researcher.

The Customer Insights practice area is looking for a Qualitative UX Researcher who can help create and design groundbreaking products and features embedded in the needs and goals of users. You’ll be contributing to work that is designed to bring tangible positive change to the financial lives of disadvantaged communities around the world. And travel to a lot of them too.

The work of the Customer Insights practice

The Customer Insights Practice Area focuses on giving voice to the low income customer. Our clients are foundations, donors, and financial services providers with interest in serving and supporting low-income populations, communities, and individuals. Our work aims to generate insights and tractable actions regarding the financial behavior of low-income consumers. In our work we employ a range of methodologies: from quantitative data collection and analysis (surveys, Financial Diaries, MIS data) and traditional qualitative research (ethnography, focus groups, etc.), to attitudinal research (Human Centered Design, UI/UX research, usability testing) and experimental design informed by behavioral economics.

As insights from consumers are most effective when viewed in conjunction with an understanding of financial service provider’s goals, we often work in partnership with the Business Insights, Policy and Ecosystem Development, Inclusive Fintech, and Finance for Life Practice Areas at BFA.

What you will do:

• Conduct research using a wide variety of methods, & interpret analysis through the lens of UX, HCD, & social science
• Moderate focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with low-income customers
• Design studies that address both user behavior and attitudes
• Generate insights that both fuel ideation and evaluate designs
• Collaborate closely with quantitative researchers
• Communicate results and illustrate suggestions in compelling and creative ways, etc.

Our expectations:

• BS/MS in anthropology, sociology, communication, market research, information science, human-computer interaction, or a related field.
• Interest in and experience executing hands-on, primary research
• Fluency in verbal and written Spanish required
• Advanced English skills required
• Experience with human-centered design research, including observation, identifying opportunities and concepting; experience with prototyping would be a plus
• Experience working with low-income people
• Equally effective at working independently as well as collaborating with team members or clients
• Ability to communicate analysis and results to diverse audiences
• Experience with survey research (questionnaire design, sampling, analysis) a plus.

Application instructions

• The position can be either on a contract basis or full-time, ideally based in Medellín, Colombia, but we are open to other locations in Latin American.
• Salary commensurate with experience.
• Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.


Apply Now
Location : Washington, D.C. or Brooklyn, New York
About:

Intern, Policy and Ecosystem Development

Posted: July 11th, 2018

BFA is arranged in collaborative practice areas that provide clients with a holistic view of the market solutions from the consumer, provider, technical and regulatory perspectives. BFA’s Policy and Ecosystem Development (PED) practice supports policymakers, regulators, and supervisors as they face an increasingly complex and data-rich market for financial services. We help our clients throughout the policy cycle; from policy design and implementation through impact evaluation.

To enable evidence-informed policy making, we conduct research to develop technology-enabled solutions for the collection, analysis, and use of data by financial authorities. We do so to foster innovation and create competitive markets while ensuring that consumers are treated fairly. This area of work is informed by the customer and business value propositions, and by the emerging fintech world through collaboration with other BFA areas of expertise.

The PED practice leads the RegTech for Regulators Accelerator (R2A), which partners with innovative financial sector authorities across the globe to pioneer the next generation of tools and techniques for market supervision and policy analysis. As the first phase of R2A comes to a close, the PED team seeks an intern to support a series of tight deadlines and time-intensive deliverables. The intern would benefit from exposure to the work of the PED team and an introduction to RegTech, as well as to BFA’s work more broadly.

What you’ll do:

RegTech for Regulators Accelerator (R2A) intern:

  • Support on forthcoming publications, including three case studies (R2A 1.0 milestone) and process paper (37%)
  • Research existing RegTech and SupTech deployments in order to assist in the development of a RegTech tracker (25%)
  • Research support to populate the vendor database (R2A 1.0 milestone) (25%)
  • Populate regulator and supervisor contact database for R2A 1.0 final stakeholder outreach (10%)

Other Responsibilities:

  • Populate database of local resources that various BFA teams can use when engaging in a country (3%)

The following are requirements that must be fulfilled:

  • Current or recently graduated student (undergraduate or graduate program)
  • Degree in policy, economics, business, or similar
  • Interest in financial inclusion/economic development/policy and the mission of the PED team
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Excel
  • Attention to detail

Any of the following will be considered a plus:

  • Proficiency in languages other than English

Application instructions:

  • This is a full-time, paid internship through the end of August, with possible extension through the end of September. The position is in Washington, D.C. or Brooklyn, NY.
  • The rate for this position will be $20.00 per hour.


Apply Now
Location : Nairobi preferred. Possible to be located in other BFA offices (Boston, Medellin, New Delhi or New York)
About:

Associate/Senior Associate, Finance for Life

Posted: July 11th, 2018

The Finance for Life practice area focuses on the impact of finance beyond financial inclusion. By expanding financial solutions in key areas like energy, health, housing, education, and sanitation – as well as enhancing agriculture and small business productivity – it works to improve everyday life for the low-income and underserved populations. Finance for Life also measures the impact that finance-oriented interventions have on low-income people’s living conditions. Lately we have extended and deepened our work in pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) energy, and financial solutions for refugees; and are building up a body of work in the economics of small retail stores.

Job description:

We are looking for an Associate or Senior Associate to make meaningful contributions to active projects with startups, fintechs, and nonprofits, supporting their pathway towards digitizing  their operations, implementing change management, and furthering partnership development. Ultimately, the project(s) aims to enable these organization to develop or ramp up digital financial service offerings.

We are particularly interested in candidates with specialized knowledge of the micro, small and medium enterprise sector (MSMEs), fast-moving consumer goods distribution and supply chains, logistics, and/or e-commerce. However, familiarity with other areas of Finance for Life (health, education, energy, water, agriculture, employment, humanitarian situations etc.) is also interesting to BFA.

While we do not expect you to be a world-class expert in a particular area related to financial inclusion (such as mobile money, branchless banking, etc.), we want you to be able to understand these concepts quickly so you can build trust with our partners and clients. In sum, we’d like an Associate who enjoys asking hard questions and understanding complex systems; who has a strong network and is comfortable interacting with senior leaders of organizations; is eager to learn from and collaborate with colleagues; and is both humble and curious about the impact we can have.

What you’ll do:

As an Associate, your primary role will be to:

  • Help foster partnerships and manage existing partnerships

  • Help conduct research, distill insights and author content pieces

  • Work with colleagues across the firm (in our Fintech, Consumer Insights and Supply Side Analytics practices) to develop and deliver appropriate solutions for our partners’ changing needs

  • Co-develop and ensure the implementation of projects

  • Manage projects on a day-to-day basis, including assigning tasks, tracking budgets, preparing contracts and other documents, and making status reports to colleagues and clients

  • Grow in your comfort with financial inclusion, startup and banking sector, so you can serve as a resource for partners, clients and colleagues

  • Additional tasks will depend on project requirements determined by our client-driven work. The job will require travel and working with stakeholders

What we offer:

  • Competitive compensation
  • A chance to work on exciting problems in emerging markets and have a real impact on improving the quality of services offered to low income individuals
  • Exposure to leading thinkers and researchers in the financial inclusion space
  • Significant professional growth potential and opportunity to frame evidence-based discussions in a niche industry
  • Opportunity to develop and lead a growth area within the sector

Desired skills and experience:

The ideal candidate for the position should have the following qualifications, skills and experience:

  • A Master’s degree in economic development, social/political policy, international affairs, or business, or equivalent professional experience

  • Minimum 3 years of relevant work experience. Previous experience in consulting would be an advantage

  • Experience with the F4L sectors in Africa or other emerging markets

  • Exposure to digital financial services

  • Ability to work in an unstructured environment and balance competing priorities

  • Excellent writing ability in English, for specific and general audiences

  • Passion for the work we are doing at BFA on financial inclusion

  • Proficient level of English language (the company is global and English is the standard language)

  • Willingness to travel.

Any of the following will be considered a plus:

  • Exposure to the fintech space or technology used by financial institutions generally
  • Specific technical expertise in a related field eg quantitative analytics, quantitative or qualitative survey design, human-centered design, or other relevant expertise
  • Professional familiarity with different cultures and languages
  • Proficiency in French or Spanish

 


Apply Now
Updated January 2018