Call for Expressions of Interest: Financial Services for Digital Platform Workers in Emerging Markets

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 1, 2021 – CGAP today launched a call for expressions of interest for partners to collaborate on designing new or enhanced financial services that are beneficial for digital platform workers, platforms, and financial service providers. CGAP aims to support up to five digital platforms, financial service providers and/or fintech companies in developing innovative financial services for platform workers in emerging markets, who are typically underserved and/or have low incomes, particularly women workers. To facilitate designing and piloting the new or enhanced services, CGAP will support technical assistance tailored to partners’ needs in various areas, including product development, testing/iteration, marketing, and delivery.

Platform workers, meaning those who sell goods and services to end customers through online matchmaking mechanisms, are a growing segment in emerging markets. While they face some of the same financial risks and opportunities as other low-income workers, connections to digital rails and valuable data trails generated through interactions with platforms open the door for innovative financial services that can improve worker livelihoods and incomes. At the same time, CGAP’s research indicates that financial services can promote worker acquisition, retention, and engagement for platforms, while potentially creating revenue for financial service providers.

Leveraging data more effectively, tightly embedding financial services with livelihoods prospects, and finetuning the customer journey are three ways financial service providers can improve upon their current financial service offerings for underserved and/or low-income workers. CGAP is open to a wide range of ideas beyond these three and is keen to hear from partners on where opportunities lie, especially for women workers.

In addition to bespoke technical advisory sourced either internally or externally, partners will receive access to CGAP’s global 2021 research on the financial needs and preferences of platform workers, as well as lessons from case studies on existing financial service offerings targeting this segment. Partners can also benefit from visibility within the industry arising from CGAP communications on pilot lessons.

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Selection Criteria:

CGAP is seeking to partner with established, revenue-generating platforms (or fintechs/FSPs in partnership with such platforms) that have identified an opportunity or challenge facing underserved and/or low-income workers, which can be addressed using financial services. Partners must be committed to the success of the project and willing to draw on internal resources as required. Preference will be given to partners that are ready to start the project within one to two months of being selected and are open to sharing non-sensitive data and lessons learned from the project.* 

*CGAP will not disclose any information without the consent of partners.


Call for Expressions of Interest | September 1, 2021-  October 15, 2021

Selection  Screening, assessment, and selection: October - November 2021

Implementation | Support: December 2021 onwards [TBC]


-This background terms of reference document and the FAQ document provide detailed information about the call for expressions of interest, including selection criteria and application process.

-Interested applicants can apply through this expression of interest form.

Clicking link will download a Word document

The submission deadline is October 15, 2021.

Please submit any questions and/or your completed expression of interest to Rani Deshpande at



About CGAP

CGAP is an independent think tank that works to empower poor people, especially women, to capture opportunities and build resilience through financial services. We test, learn and develop innovative solutions through practical research and active engagement with our partners on building responsible and inclusive financial systems that help move people out of poverty, protect their gains and advance global development goals. Housed at the World Bank, CGAP is supported by over 30 leading development organizations committed to making financial services meet the needs of poor people.