Enabling a Non-Bank Mobile Money Solution in Maldives
Project Development Objective (PDO)
This project aims to help the government of Maldives and the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) in their efforts to establish the enabling environment for a non-bank-led mobile money solution. The objective is to enhance access to financial and payment services in the Maldives, especially in the outer islands and atolls, and to ground this effort in a well-designed legal and regulatory framework.
Given the geographical dispersion of the Maldives’ islands, access to finance and financial inclusion have been at a relatively low level, and financial and payment infrastructures have remained underdeveloped. Therefore, launching non-bank mobile money services and strengthening access to financial and payment services are critical. A well-designed legal and regulatory framework and capacity building of the regulator are key to the successful implementation.
The proposed project will provide advisory support on the following:
1. Legal and regulatory reform
Support the authorities in reforming the legal and regulatory framework and assist in
drafting laws, regulations, and guidelines. Additionally, the team will help revise the
Payment Systems Bill to accommodate the entry of non-bank entities, including mobile
network operators (MNOs), into the payment space.
2. Operationalization of parameters and institutional arrangements necessary to manage an
interoperable mobile money solution
Provide operational advisory support to the MMA that will include (a) conducting a
detailed demand assessment; (b) helping establish a mobile money implementation
committee and intradepartmental task force; and (c) developing frameworks for risk
management, consumer protection, and for non-bank agent-based models.
3. Outreach, communication, and awareness-raising strategies
Help the MMA design and develop outreach and communication strategies to raise
awareness and financial literacy, trust, and responsible use of electronic payment services
and e-money products.
4. Training and capacity building for the regulators
Assisting the MMA in identifying training programs for the custodian banks and the
5. Advisory support on payment system oversight function
Assisting the MMA in establishing a formal oversight function. Activities will include
creating a framework for oversight of draft payment systems, developing terms of
reference for a permanent coordination body on payment issues (National Payment Council),
and conducting workshops and training seminars.
The short- and medium-term expected outcomes of this project include the following:
1. Development of a legal and regulatory framework that enables and regulates non-banks
in mobile payment services
2. Adoption of a mobile money model with strong technical and operational features
3. Implementation of awareness campaigns
4. Provision of adequate training to regulators, custodian banks, and MNOs
5. Compliance by mobile payment services with regulations