Jeffrey Bower is internationally recognized as a digital payments innovation specialist, particularly for the unbanked. He founded Bower & Partners, where he and his team developed a unique and innovative methodology to coordinate and develop inclusive digital payment ecosystems. Bower & Partners currently works in partnership with a number of national payment platforms, global corporations and governments around the world to enable financial inclusion through sustainable and profitable use of digital payment systems.
Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Jeffrey provided expert advice to Scotiabank to launch what would become the first successful mobile money program in the Americas. He then went on to develop numerous mobile money programs for the bank throughout Latin America, notably in Mexico, Colombia and Peru. He launched Billetera Movil, the region’s first supply chain payments program, in collaboration with Peru’s biggest beer distributor.
In 2014, Jeffrey began providing services to the Better Than Cash Alliance, a UN-based partnership of governments, companies and international organizations that accelerates the transition from cash to digital payments. There, he provided expert technical assistance, developing the concept of national ecosystem approaches, and worked directly with governments and corporations around the world in defining their digital payments strategies and helping launch innovative national payment programs.
At the request of the Peruvian government, Jeffrey helped design the partnership and strategy behind the national initiative on electronic money known as Modelo Peru. The program brings together 34 financial institutions to develop a mobile money solution available nationwide that works across 3 telcos. Launched in February 2016, the product became the world’s first fully interoperable digital payments platform focused on financial inclusion.
Jeffrey previously worked with Transparency International and the United Nations Development Programme, implementing successful development programs in the Middle East, East Asia and Africa. He is trilingual and has a Masters in International Relations from the University of Toronto’s Munk Centre for Global Affairs.
Diana de La Cruz
Diana de La Cruz is a project management specialist focused on bank innovation. Diana played significant roles in leading payment programs in Peru, including the rollout of the leading correspondent agent network for Peru’s largest bank, channel management for the country’s largest microfinance institution, and leading research and strategy for Modelo Perú, the world’s first interoperable payments platform focused on financial inclusion.
Diana was the chief of development in charge of market research, communication strategy and branding for Pagos Digitales Peruanos, responsible for Bim, Peru’s innovative mobile money solution. Diana played an important role in the design of the product and ensured that the service met regulatory specifications while being uniquely tailored to the needs of the underserved.
Prior to this, Diana was a product manager at Mibanco, the largest micro finance institution in Latin America. She developed and launched the mobile banking platform, and established key indicators for ATMs, agents, phone banking, and online banking. She also was responsible for developing channel strategy.
Diana was also part of the initial team from Banco de Credito de Perú, the country’s largest bank, that was responsible for launching the banking agent model in Peru- now widely recognized as a global leader. She managed a portfolio hundreds of agents, negotiated with micro enterprises to roll out a nationwide network, and trained agents to utilize these new access points. This meant that hundreds of districts that never had access to financial services could now transact at agent locations- providing the very foundation that, years later, made Modelo Perú possible.
Diana has a Bachelor degree in business and marketing from the Universidad Privada del Norte in Peru, and a project management certification for Social Projects from the Inter-American Development Bank. She is a native in Spanish and speaks English and French.
Jose Luis Hicks Carrillo
José Luis Hicks Carrillo is a senior payments solution executive that has been responsible for the digital implementation of leading banks in Latin America. He has been involved with developing payment innovations in credit cards, stored value cards, and internet & mobile banking for mass market and corporate use with key financial institutions in Mexico. He has been widely recognized as a leader in digitization.
At Scotiabank, he led the digital business initiatives, developing a stored value remittances and funds transfer solution, definition of the mobile banking product, and launched the internet banking solution for corporate clients. He also participated in the development of mobile payment solutions for the bank.
At Banco Santander, Jose Luis led the development and implementation of business strategies with key strategic partners, resulting in a number of co-branded credit cards. He oversaw the launch of mobile airtime purchase via ATMs.
At HSBC, Jose Luis led the development of Bank’s national mobile banking solution for corporates, which saw massive uptake and use.
Jose Luis has a Bachelors degree in Business and Finance from the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico and a Masters Degree in Banking and Financial Markets from the Universidad de Cantabria in Spain and Universidad Anáhuac del Norte in Mexico. He is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in English.
A roster of part-time consultants are available to contribute to projects where necessary.
Peter Kastanis is a business development and alliances expert with 35+ years experience in financial services and payments across Latin America and the Caribbean. Peter has a proven track record of transforming strategies into sustainable businesses by applying a unique knowledge of digital and electronic payments, end-to-end operations, analytics, and partnership values to the crafting of innovative solutions and collaborative alliances.
Peter developed alliances for Scotiabank with such diverse partners as Orange Telecom, American Airlines, MasterCard and PriceSmart before shifting to focus on Mobile Payments in 2008. As part of an Emerging Business and Payments team, he participated in identifying and evaluating market opportunities and designing products and programs for both retail and commercial digital payments such as Mon Cash, tPago, Transfer, Yellow Pepper, Tigo Money, Billetera Movil, Orange Money and others. Peter was the alliances lead in developing ‘TchoTcho Mobile’ with Digicel in Haiti. Mostly recently Peter developed operating models for both Alliances and Agent Banking and delivered alliances support on Fintech initiatives with Strands, Linio and Kabbage.
Peter holds a Bachelor of Commerce in International Business from Concordia University in Montreal and is an Ontario CPA, CMA.
Fernando Rodriguez Carranza
Fernando Rodriguez Carranza is the current head of cards and transactional banking at Scotiabank Mexico. With over 20 years of experience designing solutions in payments for the Mexican market, Fernando is seen as a leader in this space. He has actively participated in a number of payments-related boards and contributes to digital payment leadership on intersectoral meetings at the national level.