This Focus Note discusses the activities (and related risks) in which bank agents may engage, management and mitigation of agent-related risks, approaches to licensing and supervision of bank agent businesses, and possible corrective measures supervisors may take.
This paper highlights emerging lessons from the public funders that have been engaged in branchless banking. The goal is to help other funders consider the role they might play in this area. Branchless banking offers the potential to fundamentally transform the way low-income clients can access financial services.
Many in the private sector believe reaching large numbers of mass market clients is a precondition to large-scale profits, but at the same time, they are uncertain about how quickly branchless banking will gain traction with the unbanked, low-income clients who make up the mass market.
The growth in online lending and investment platforms presents an opportunity and a challenge for MFIs intent on tapping the potential of online lenders or investors. This paper focuses on the demand side of the equation and highlights issues that MFIs may want to consider before signing up for a loan from an online lending platform.
Branchless banking has great potential to extend the distribution of financial services to poor people who are not reached by traditional bank branch networks; it lowers the cost of delivery, including costs both to banks of building and maintaining a delivery channel and to customers of accessing services (e.g., travel or queuing times).