Agent Networks at the Last Mile: The Role of Financial Services Providers

Webinar

18 December 2019 9:00 am - 10:00 am EST

How can digital financial services providers build viable cash-in/cash-out agent networks in rural areas? Remote areas pose special challenges for providers, as low population densities often mean low transaction volumes and weak incentives for businesses to serve as agents. As described in a new CGAP publication, “Agent Networks at the Last Mile" (2019), digital financial services providers are finding new ways to tackle this challenge around the world.

In this webinar, author Emilio Hernandez will discuss key findings from our global research, focusing on emerging business models and innovations of interest to financial services providers. A panel of financial services executives will weigh in, sharing their experiences with agent networks in Africa and Asia. (A separate webinar will focus on lessons for policy makers and regulators working to promote rural agent networks.)

Speakers

Emilio Hernandez

Emilio Hernandez, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP

The author of CGAP's new publication "Agent Networks at the Last Mile" (2019), Emilio Hernandez leads CGAP's work on inclusive digital distribution networks. He also leads work on the impact of financial inclusion on poor people’s lives. He has a doctorate degree in agricultural economics and development finance from The Ohio State University.

Ronald Webb

Ronald Webb, Former Director of Financial Services, Safaricom

Ronald Webb is a payments professional with extensive experience across Africa. He is senior executive, board member, entrepreneur, adviser and mentor. He previously served as chief digital officer at Atlas Mara, director of financial services at Safaricom, and group payments director at Equity Bank.

Karthik Natarajan

Karthik Natarajan, Executive Director, Boonbox

Karthik Natarajan is executive director of Boonbox, an e-commerce platform focused on serving rural customers in India. The company relies on distribution networks composed of appliance stores and rural shops and has built a significant rural presence.

 

Resources

Infographic

Publication

Most digital financial services users require agents to help them switch between worlds of cash and digital currency. Global evidence suggests six principles for building viable agent networks in rural areas home to poor, financially excluded populations.