What Makes Us Different
Our experts bring together a diverse set of expertise and global experience from all continents. We have done the hard work of building and designing national payments services, and we know what it takes to make them a success.
- We work adaptively and collaboratively
- We think clearly and quickly
- We have extensive experience in various working cultures
- We have extensive experience communicating across cultural lines — including language, nationality, education and organizational roles
- We customize our communications approach to dynamically address each situation
- We take a broader, global approach to financial inclusion
- We transport best practices across regional divides
- We tie together the needs of businesses, governments, banks and users/citizens
- We channel good intentions into measurable results
- We’re passionately motivated by working on good projects with good people that result in meaningful work
Principal and Owner
Jeffrey Bower is a digital payments specialist, particularly for emerging economies. As founder of Bower & Partners, Jeffrey and his team enable collaboration in payments to help guide the design and launch of successful digitization and financial inclusion initiatives. Jeffrey dedicates his efforts to helping the world win the fight against cash.
Among other clients, Jeffrey has advised the World Bank, the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, the United Nations-hosted Better Than Cash Alliance, and a number of corporations including major international banks. Jeffrey has demonstrated expertise providing leadership on defining ecosystem approaches to digitization, defining national digital payments strategies and launching world-class payment programs.
With the World Bank, Jeffrey designed a national digital payments scheme in Pakistan with the State Bank. With the Better Than Cash Alliance, Jeffrey supported the implementation of the partnership and strategy behind Peru's national initiative on electronic money known as Modelo Peru, the world’s first interoperable digital payments platform focused on financial inclusion. With Scotiabank, Jeffrey developed the first successful mobile money program in the Americas following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and led the rollout of the bank's digital payment programs across Latin America, most notably in Mexico, Colombia and Peru. He launched Billetera Movil, the region's first supply-chain digital payments program, in collaboration with Peru's biggest beer distributor.
Jeffrey 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.
José 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.
OUR SENIOR ADVISORS
Lead Senior Advisor
Carolina Trivelli is a Senior Researcher at Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP), and has held the titles of former Managing Director of Pagos Digitales Peruanos, Director General of the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, and former Minister of Development and Social Inclusion of Peru.
Carolina currently serves as Chair of the Board of Pagos Digitales Peruanos S.A. and is President of Fundación Backus, member of the Board of Colegios Peruanos-Innova Schools and the International Advisory Board of RIMISP (Latin American Center for Rural Development). She serves as an independent board member at the ExCom of CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) and of the Global Innovation Fund (GIF). Carolina is also part of the Technical Advisory Committee on Measuring Poverty (INEI) and the Fiscal Committee of Peru, an independent body appointed to oversight the fiscal policies of the country. She is currently a columnist for Peru 21, a national newspaper.
Carolina specializes in issues regarding social policy, rural development, digital finance and financial inclusion. She is an Economist and holds a MSc in Agricultural Economics from Pennsylvania State University.
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.
Dr. Brad Pragnell is a highly-experienced executive with over twenty years experience who has led strategic policy debates and transformational industry initiatives. Brad currently consults with Payments Canada, the national body responsible for Canada’s clearing and settlement infrastructure. These efforts have led to the delivery of Payments Canada’s Modernization Roadmap and Industry Plan, which was publicly released in December 2016.
Prior to this, Brad was the Head of Policy at Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) between 2008 and 2016. He provided policy leadership on the development of the revolutionary new fast payments implementation called the New Payments Platform (NPP) which will begin operation in October 2017.
During his time at APCA, he led policy projects on reform of settlement within the Australian bulk electronic payment system; introduced a new bank account switching service for consumers; and led a national consultation on the role of cheques in Australia. He led the delivery of the Australian Payments Plan (APP) which details the Australian payments industry’s strategy for the next ten years, with a focus on identity, security and enhanced industry efficiency.
Brad holds a Bachelor of Arts (Advanced) from the University of Manitoba; a Masters of Industrial Relations from Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada; a Master of Community and Not-for-Profit Management from the University of Technology, Sydney; and a PhD from the School of Economics and Commerce (now the Australian School of Business) at the University of New South Wales.
Fernando Rodriguez Carranza
Fernando Rodríguez Carranza is a Payments and Channels expert, particularly in Mexico. With over 20 years of experience in the financial industry, he has worked primarily with Scotiabank México as a leader in a wide variety of business units focusing payments, agents, non-formal channels. He is currently the Director of Digital Banking, Channels and Payment Media, where he is responsible for the Debit, Prepaid and Private Cards portfolios for the entire Scotiabank Mexico group.
Among other accomplishments, Fernando has played a key role in leading the implementation of new products including online banking, mobile banking, ATMs and various self-service banking devices. He has been responsible for leading the development of the bank’s network of correspondent agents and the administrator of the acquiring business alliance. He has actively participated in a number of payments-related boards and contributes to digital payment leadership on intersectoral meetings at the national level, including at the Mexican Bankers Association.
Fernando has a Bachelor of International Business from the Universidad Intercontinental, Mexico. He holds a diploma in Product Development and Commercialization (ITESM).