Agent networks are crucial for advancing financial inclusion and other development goals. Here are six ways funders can encourage the expansion of agent networks in rural areas home to many of the world's low-income populations.
In analyzing how to extend the reach and quality of rural cash in/cash out agent networks, we have come to realize that it is critical to apply a gender lens to identify key barriers for women. Here are three basic steps to do so.
In 2017, Zambia introduced a government-to-person (G2P) payments model that lets beneficiaries choose the provider they want to use to receive their payment. Today, the benefits to the recipients, providers and government are clear.
Government-to-person (G2P) programs can reach millions of women. What if instead of requiring women to receive payments from a single provider, they enabled women to select among several options and to reward good service with their business?
As customers, agents and digital financial services providers adjust to COVID-19, it’s becoming clearer what a resilient agent network looks like. Providers should take note to prepare for future crises.
Kenya offers higher fees to providers that facilitate digital government-to-person payments in underserved areas. Today, this makes it easier to reach hundreds of thousands of low-income people with assistance during the COVID-19 crisis.
Digital payments are central to the global COVID-19 response, but the agent networks that distribute these funds are struggling to remain open. Here are three questions policy makers must answer to ensure agents reach as many people as possible.
Regulations often give big financial institutions near total control over mobile money cash-in/cash-out networks. Changing the rules would enable small entrepreneurs to play a bigger role in building last-mile cash networks.
Easy access to agents makes people more likely to use digital financial services, but business as usual has left remote communities underserved. Here are some ways governments and providers are expanding agent networks in hard-to-serve areas.
Regulations in the West African Economic and Monetary Union have enabled mobile money providers to double their agent networks since 2014, while restricting banks and microfinance institutions. Better regulations would create a level playing field and expand financial inclusion.