Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) with the objective of obtaining information about prospective vendors’ capabilities, potential solutions and the costs involved to fulfil the vision of the Maldives Payment System Development Project.

MMA invites all interested parties to submit a written response to this RFI. A copy of the RFI is available on MMA's website ( and from the links below:

First Amendment to the RFI was done on 28th February 2019 to extend the deadlines. The revised deadlines for registration and submission of response are as follows:

  • Deadline for registration: Deadline for registration: 21st March 2019, 16:00hrs Maldives time
  • Deadline to submit response to the RFI: 4th April 2019, 16:00hrs Maldives time

Frequently Asked Questions from RFI Respondents

This includes responses to all questions received via email and questions asked during the information sessions.

    Updated 25 March 2019
  1. Right now everyone has a national ID? Do you have a separate voters ID?
  2. All Maldivians have a unique national ID which is used as a primary identification to obtain any service from any institution. National ID is used as voters ID.

  3. Is the national ID linked to mobile number?
  4. No

  5. Is the bank account linked to the mobile number?
  6. Bank accounts are not linked to a mobile number.

    Updated 7 March 2019
  7. How is the demographic profile of Maldives?
  8. The population of Maldives is 402,071, which is dispersed across 188 administrative islands. The most densely populated island is Male’, the capital city, with 38% of the population living there. Only two islands have a population of over 10,000 where as a majority of islands have a population of less than 1000 citizens.For more details please visit the following pages:

        The Statistical Yearbook of Maldives

        Visit Maldives

  9. Can the payment providers be as many as you want to? And do they have to be licensed?
  10. Only licensed payment service providers can offer payment services to the Maldivians. And MMA will license these parties in accordance with the necessary regulations.

  11. From the business case point of view, since the (cost of the) system is going to be very high, do you plan to charge back the banks?
  12. The whole project will be funded by MMA. The fees/charges for UPG will be nominal. Revenue from these fees to be shared with the banks could be a potential option.

  13. The final selection of vendors will be purely on the commercial or will it include technical as well?
  14. Final evaluation will be based on the technical as well as the commercial aspect. It will not solely depend on the commercial aspect.

  15. How much time will it take for reviewing the RFI responses?
  16. Based on the RFI responses we are hoping to finalize our requirements and publish a Request for Offer (RFO) by end of April

  17. As the proposal includes some confidential information, can we sign a NDA with the MMA?
  18. Yes. If the vendors request, it can be arranged.

  19. It’s mentioned that all the banks in Maldives will take part in this payment infrastructure, but currently not all the banks are fully integrated to the MRTGS. So is the new infrastructure expected to solve this?
  20. It is open for vendors to propose a solution for settlement, which minimizes the dependency on legacy systems.

  21. Are the insurance companies expected to be integrated into the system as well?
  22. The insurance companies may offer payment service through their selected payment service provider. This is not included in the current scope of RFI

  23. There shall be only one single mobile app for the entire ecosystem or all the banks are enabled to provide their own interoperable mobile apps?
  24. A common white label app can be proposed or the banks may use their own proprietary app. Banks will function as account information service providers. Banks can be both Account Information Service Providers as well as Payment Service Providers.

  25. Is it correct to say that user credentials for authentication and authorization (with exception for the first access) will be checked by the PSP on behalf of the Bank hosting the Account?
  26. Yes. It will be done by the Payment Service Providers via the UPG.

  27. Could you please let us know if you are available to consider both products to be installed in the Maldives and services provided from abroad?
  28. All products must be installed and all services must be provided from Maldives. However, vendors may propose other alternatives.

  29. Our understanding is that the proposed solution should only include the Software layer and that the hardware components are not included in the scope. Could you please confirm the same?
  30. The scope of the RFI is for the software only. However, the vendors may propose the hardware requirements/specifications.

  31. Could you please advise if we need to include the database license in our offer?
  32. No.

  33. Please advise if we will directly integrate with the different Mobile Operators or with an 1 single aggregator.
  34. It is open to vendors to propose an appropriate solution. PSPs are required to integrate with UPG and a mobile operator can act as a PSP. As in RFI, ISO20022 messaging format will be used in the UPG.

  35. Could you please clarify the role and the content of National Registration databases?
  36. The National Registration database was officially launched by the Government 1984. This database will provide the identifiers and biometric data to the Unified Payment Gateway.

  37. Please advice on the 3rd party Biometrics system we will integrate with.
  38. The UPG will be connected to the National Registration Databases (and other registration databases at a later stage) via APIs for biometric verifications.

  39. What is the information already available in the national DBs?
  40. The national registration database is a register of all citizen of Maldives. It contains basic details of all citizens and biometric data is available partially. We are currently working with the relevant authorities to improve the available biometric data.

  41. What is the annual volume projection for the proposed Instant Payments system?
  42. It must be able to handle 31 million transactions per year as an indicative scale. The system should be scalable to cater 10-80 times of the stated transaction volume as it evolves over time.

  43. If I were a member, I’ll be sending the account information to UPG but will the bank still be authorizing the transaction? If the bank is not connected to the UPG, how will the transaction be authorized?
  44. Yes. A bank can act as an AISP and PSP as well. In case where a bank is not integrated to UPG at API level, it can authorize the transactions manually. Vendors may propose a separate interface for that.

  45. So basically you’re building an infrastructure platform that can allow all the different service providers that are already in the market to connect to it? And on top of that you will also introduce a user based accounting, within this network that can allow you to store money and move it freely between different participating bodies?
  46. Yes.

  47. Do you have a digital bank right now?
  48. MMA plans to introduce digital/virtual bank which will have a common stored value account for each entity in the Maldives (i.e. individuals and businesses) which is planned to be operated by an entity designated by MMA

  49. Will the digital bank be used only for those banks that are not integrated with UPG?
  50. It can be used by the banks integrated to UPG as well.

  51. In case of one single mobile app, is it correct to say that all the brand-new Stored Value Accounts will be hosted by the Central Bank?
  52. The stored value accounts will be hosted by a designated entity by MMA.

  53. Can the store value account or wallet top up be done with cash? If not, how to add funds if we don’t have a bank account?
  54. No. Cash top-ups are strongly discouraged. There are other ways to top-up the wallet like receiving incoming funds from other accounts, depositing the social security benefits from the government to this account.

  55. Will the top-up of wallet or Store Value Account be possible from agent shops?
  56. No.

  57. Do you foresee the possibility to recharge the SVA with cash in enabled shops?
  58. No.

  59. Top-up of wallet or Store Value Account will only be done on app using the cards?
  60. It is not limited to cards.

  61. Are there any fees for the consumer at time of a top-up of the SVA with a payment card?
  62. Fees will be decided based on the rules which is yet to be finalized.

  63. For the unbanked customers, if they don’t have a bank account how do they put money in the wallet?
  64. They idea is that they will receive money from another customer to their stored value account in the digital bank. There will be some limitations on type and value of transactions that unbanked customers can make. If an unbanked customer wants to deposit funds and use the full services, a bank account is required to be opened and complete full KYC verification.

  65. What is the main purpose of the tourist solution?
  66. The reason we are interested in tourist solution is that recently a lot of guesthouses has been opened in the local islands (unlike one island one resort concept) mainly targeted for budget travelers. Since these are small scale businesses it is not practical to put POS machines which supports all international schemes in each and every location.

  67. How will the tourist top up their store value account or wallet if they cannot use cash to do that?
  68. Tourists can top up the store value accounts using their international card schemes. Even though UPG is not directly connected to the international card schemes, it will be possible via the existing commercial bank’s card networks.

  69. Does that mean tourist can use the international card to top up the local card and use it within Maldives?
  70. Yes. However, the solution for tourists is not limited to local cards only.

  71. What is the number of tourist per year?
  72. It is around 1.2 million tourists per year which is expected to increase in the coming years. For more details, please visit the following page:
       Statistical Yearbook of Maldives 2018

  73. For topping up the tourists, will you be using international schemes through the existing banks?
  74. Yes. Tourists can top up the store value accounts using their international card schemes via the existing commercial bank’s card networks. At this stage, we don’t have the intention to incorporate the international schemes to the UPG, but at later stage, if the need arises, we will definitely consider that. So the option for international scheme must be available.

  75. For tourist transactions, will MMA be acquiring for all tourist transactions or have multiple banks doing it?
  76. MMA will not be investing in international switch. We will be using existing commercial bank’s card networks.

  77. Will the tourist be enabled to request a SVA/Wallet activation through a full online KYC procedure? (i.e. upload of ID photos, selfie, etc).
  78. No. Our idea is to do the KYC of the tourists on arrival.

  79. At the end of temporary residency period in the Maldives, can the tourist/foreigner request a refund for the remaining amount in the SVA/Wallet? (I.e. through a partial refund on the payment card used for the top-up or cash return)
  80. Yes. It can be enabled.

  81. In our understanding Kiosk is not part of this RFI. Is it?
  82. The scope of the RFI is for the software only.

  83. Can you tell a little bit more about the functionalities of the Kiosk?
  84. The population of Maldives is dispersed across around 200 islands where majority of the islands with a population below 1000. There are no bank branches in each and every island. If we can introduce a Kiosk in each and every Island, people can use it. For example, if they install an app, this Kiosk can be used for KYC verification. This channel can be used to create confidence among the people to the system. Kiosk must accept different kind of identification and authentication. Including biometrics such as fingerprint or even cards. It can also be used to make high value payments. For example people without smart phones can initiate large transfers with multi factor authentication using these machines. In simple terms, Kiosks could be a smart ATM without cash.

  85. Could you please describe in more details the Kiosk use cases?
  86. Self-service terminals / kiosks will be available in all inhabited islands at convenient locations, mainly to facilitate Know-Your-Customer procedures via biometric verification or any other identifiers. Apart from this, all payment services that can be availed from the digital solution will be available through the self-service terminals. Eg: Users registered online or via mobile apps can do the basic KYC through these terminals.

  87. What is the use of a Kiosk for the tourist?
  88. For example, in resorts or islands where people offer services (i.e. sea sports) such as lending surf boards or other sea sports activities, the kiosks can be used select the service and make payment.

  89. Is the kiosk connected to a central repository containing the fingerprint of all Maldivians? If not, could you please clarify what is the repository for the fingerprints?
  90. The Kiosk will be connected to the Unified Payment Gateway (UPG). UPG will get the details of the fingerprints via the National Registration database.

  91. Is the kiosk able to authenticate tourists via biometric verification? (i.e. through the biometric info collected at the airport)
  92. Yes. Such arrangements will be made in the future.

    Updated 20 February 2019
  93. What would be the expected presentation duration?
  94. No specific time duration. Ideally less than an hour.

  95. Will it be possible to demonstrate the solution remotely while our representative is present on site?
  96. Yes. Arrangements can be made.

  97. Will you be able to identify key points that should be covered during this presentation/demonstration?
  98. Key points to be covered are highlighted in Section 8.2 of the RFI.

  99. Will it be possible to receive RFI copy in MS Word format to facilitate answers preparation?
  100. Yes.

  101. If we are restricted in our response to the RFI due to commercial partnerships, can we respond to the RFO if our partner does not get through the RFI stage gate to the RFO phase?
  102. Submission of offer to RFO is limited to the vendors registered through the response to the RFI only.

    Updated 12 February 2019
  103. For the requested payment gateway that will be used for the local internet payment, are you looking for a solution that will manage the international cards like Visa, MasterCard, etc. as well? I.e. card switch system?  
  104. The payment gateway must support all local schemes and should be capable of connecting all international schemes.

  105. For the fingerprint authentication, are you looking for a system to store and validate fingerprints for all customers, or there is a third party that we will connect to and validate the customer? Can you please provide more details on the business case?
  106. The fingerprint verification would be provided by a third party.

  107. For the solution for tourists, what is the business value for giving the tourist smart cards? Can this be replaced by opening a mobile wallet for them?
  108. It is not limited to smart cards. You may propose mobile wallets or any other solution.

  109. For the requested costs, our system is priced in different schemes; can we use our pricing model? And are you only looking for the implementation cost at this point without the licenses cost?
  110. You may use your pricing model. We want to know both the implementation and licenses cost.

  111. The project is divided into three parts and according to the anticipated timeline, the implementation is to be finished in 4 months; Are you looking to implement the three parts within the 4 months?
  112. Yes. Full scope of the RFI is to be implemented in the given time frame. However, you may propose an alternate time frame.

  113. We are an international company that we have many country-wide implementations, will you require a local partner\company in Maldives for the chosen vendor?
  114. A local partner is not required. However there are no restrictions for you to affiliate with a local partner.

  115. We note the opportunity to visit MMA to present our solution. The timeline you provide indicates that that is an opportunity ahead of the RFI response. Please confirm that is the case and whether the opportunity is for a physical visit or a teleconference or both. Please also provide suitable dates.
  116. The opportunity is for both physical visit and teleconference. However, we would prefer if the Vendor visits MMA for the presentation.

  117. I have gone through the RFI today and can see that the tool we provide would certainly fulfil the message validation/transformation side but the tool does not currently offer some other aspects of the solution that you wish to see (i.e. KYC, Clearing, Fraud Detection) that would be performed by a payment solution or orchestration tool that would sit outside of our system. We do work with vendors that use our system as part of their payment solution and would be delighted to give you their details in case you would like them to submit to the RFI (if they already are not being asked) or we are happy to provide information on our system for this RFI but I believe your scope will require more functionality then just the elements in our system.
  118. Appreciate if you could share the details of the RFI with those Vendors so that they may participate in the RFI as well.

  119. Would it be possible to set up a quick call to talk about this in more detail?
  120. We can make arrangements for a conference call if you could please provide your contact details.