AccessBank Tajikistan (ABTJ): Feasibility study and Action Plan for Card Business Development

Procurement ref:




Business sector:

Financial institutions

Funding source:

To Be Dedermined

Contract type:

Consultancy Services

Notice type:

Invitation for expressions of interest (CSU)

Issue date:

22 Apr 2015

Closing date:

14 May 2015   at  14:00   Dushanbe

Access eSelection
Assignment Background: AccessBank Tajikistan (ABTJ or the “bank”) is a joint venture of Access-Holding ( and three of its partners with long-standing experience in the sector: the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and KfW Development Bank (KfW). ABTJ was inaugurated on 29 March 2010 and has its head office and four branches in the capital Dushanbe as well as four regional branches in Khujand, the second-largest city of Tajikistan, (located in the northern Sughd region), Tursunzoda (located in the central Region of Republican Subordination), Kurgan-Tyube (located in the Khatlon Region) and Istaravshan (located in the northern Sughd region). In the end of 2014 ABTJ opened two centres of banking services in Sughd and Khatlon Region. At the end of December 2014, ABTJ controlled an outstanding loan portfolio of over USD 50 million with more than 10,000 clients; the same time deposit portfolio reached a volume of almost USD 5 million. ABTJs portfolio of non-credit products is still limited, as for regulatory reasons account and deposit services for retail customers started only in late 2012.

Having passed the start-up phase and reached a ‘critical mass’ as a solid financial institution (operational profitability, broad customer base and market share,  established staff and organizational infrastructure) it is important that ABTJ does not lose its momentum in growth and regional expansion, and successfully transforms from an essentially “lending plus cash” institution to a full scale commercial bank
with a strong deposit base and adequate range of retail products.

ABTJ wishes to explore the options for establishing a successful card business in order to foster the development of the non-credit banking business, attract deposits and strengthen the image of a bank as a fully-fledged service provider and serious market player. In pursuit of this goal, ABTJ will be supported by the Competency Centre of LFS Financial Systems GmbH (LFS), the bank’s technical partner and Management Company.

Against this background, ABTJ requires the services of an independent consultant (the “Consultant”) to explore the options of establishing a successful card business (the “Assignment”).

Assignment Objectives: ABTJ expects to start with debit cards for learning and organizational reasons. The outcome of this assignment should cover debit card implementation within the proposed business plan and could have recommendations for an implementation of credit cards and business card applications.
In detail this can be broken down to:
  1. Become familiar with the internal organization of the bank on a Head Office and branch level;
  2. Gain an overview of the Banking Service department organization, processes and workflows;
  3. Gain in-depth knowledge of the local banking market and regulations with regards to card business;
  4. Develop a business case for the card business, which covers potential market, assesses necessary investment and infrastructure and evaluates potential partners, service providers on the local and international market (correspondent banks, switches / processing centre, card suppliers, card personalization companies);
  5. Develop a business plan for the card business, which covers intended products, services, implementation plan (including setting up necessary internal structures, a formal evaluation and negotiation with partners) and P&L projections.
  6. Develop card implementation and maintenance plan;
  7. Draft ABTJ internal structures related to card business including an organizational chart for the card department with the position and job descriptions of each position, additional responsibilities of branch staff, and workflows for all card related processes in head office and branches; internal organizations of the bank on a head office and branch level;
  8. Involve local management during all activities to ensure long-term sustainability.
Assignment Duration: The Assignment is expected to start in July 2015
and have an estimated overall duration of 3 months.
Cost Estimate for the Assignment: EUR 75,000; exclusive of VAT.
The consultant must determine whether any VAT would be chargeable on the services and the basis for that determination, without taking into consideration the Bank's special status as an IFI and state this to the Bank in their response to the Invitation for Expressions of Interest. To the extent that a consultant incurs input VAT
on goods and services purchased in connection with the provision of services
(e.g. VAT on airline ticket) which is not otherwise recoverable by the consultant from the local tax authority, the gross cost to the consultant of such expenses shall be treated as a reimbursable expense.
Funding Source: It is expected that the Assignment will be funded by the EBRD Technical Cooperation funds. Selection and contracting will be subject to availability of funding.
Eligibility: There are no eligibility restrictions; however, consultant selection and contracting will be subject to availability of funding from an appropriate donor.

Consultant Profile: Corporate services are required. The Consultant will be a firm or a consortium/ group of firms with previous project experience of 1) developing and implementing business case and business plan for card business projects; and 2) working in banking/financial sector and knowledge of operating environments in Central Asia or similar region.
The proposed experts’ CVs shall demonstrate expertise and previous project experience in 1) card business development and implementation in banks in emerging markets; 2) application of Assignment specific local legal regulations; and 3) collaborative approach to training clients. Proficiency in English and Russian will be required. Tajikistan-specific experience, such as knowledge of local operating environment and financial/banking sector will be considered an advantage.

Submission Requirements: Interested Consultants are hereby invited to submit expressions of interest. In order to determine the capability and experience of consulting firms, the information submitted should include the following:
(a) Brief overview of the firm/group of firms including company profile, organisation and staffing (max. 2-4 pages);
(b) Details of previous project experience or similar assignments particularly undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contract value,
contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy),
expert months provided, assignment budget, percentage carried out by consultant
in case of association of firms or subcontracting, main activities, objectives;
(c) CVs of key experts available to carry out the Assignment detailing qualifications, experience in similar assignments, particularly assignments undertaken in the previous five years, including information on contracting entity/client, project location/country, duration (mm/yy to mm/yy), expert months provided, assignment budget, main activities, objectives;
(d) Brief description of the approach and a draft work plan for implementation of this assignment. (max. 5 pages);
(e) Completed Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet, the template
for which is available from the following web-link:
The above information should not exceed 20 pages, excluding CVs and Consultant Declaration Form and Contact Sheet.
Expressions of interest, including CVs, Consultant Declaration and Contact Sheet, should be submitted in electronic format (email) in English to the contact persons at AccessBank Tajikistan and EBRD given below by the closing date for submissions. The expression of interest shall be one file (pdf). The EBRD reserves the right to reject applications of firms submitting more than one file. Only if the permissible file size is exceeded (4MB), the Consultant may split the expression of interest into further files.
AccessBank Contact Person:
Katharina Schachtner, General Manager
AccessBank Tajikistan
61/1 Firdavsi str.
Dushanbe, 734061, Republic of Tajikistan

EBRD Contact Person:
Olesya Kerridge, Technical Cooperation
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
London EC2A 2JN, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 20 7657 6895

1. The selection will normally be made from responses to this notification only. Consultants will not be asked to submit a proposal. The highest-ranked Consultant will be selected from a shortlist and be invited to negotiate the contract, subject to availability of funding.
2. The evaluation criteria are as follows:
  1. Firm’s proven track record of working/implementing projects in card business development in emerging markets - 20%;
  2. Firm’s experience in banking/financial sector and knowledge of operating environments in Central Asia or similar region - 15%;
  3. Expert CVs corresponding to the requirements of this procurement notice, including proficiency in English and Russian - 35%;
  4. Expert’s Tajikistan-specific experience, such as knowledge of local operating environment and financial/banking sector - 10%;
  5. Brief description of the approach and draft plan are clear and correspond to the assignment objectives and to the regional specifics - 20%.