Agent Networks at the Last Mile: The Role of Policy Makers and Regulators


12 December 2019 9:00 am - 10:00 am EST
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Agent networks are essential to building digital financial services at scale, but providers have struggled to expand networks to rural areas. As highlighted in CGAP’s new publication, “Agent Networks at the Last Mile” (2019), some providers are finding innovative ways to expand cash-in/cash-out networks beyond urban and peri-urban areas. However, private-sector innovation is only part of the story. In hard-to-reach places where coverage is improving, government support has played a critical role through policies and enabling regulations. In this webinar, author Emilio Hernandez discussed key findings from CGAP’s research on rural agent networks, with a focus on emerging lessons for policy makers and regulators. An expert panel with extensive experience in policies and regulations affecting agent networks joined him.

Event Resources

Webinar presentation >>

Related publication: Agent Networks at the Last Mile (CGAP, 2019) >>

CGAP's collection of resources on agent networks for financial inclusion >>


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.

Shri G. Padmanabhan

Shri G. Padmanabhan, Former Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India

Shri G. Padmanabhan previously served as executive director of the Reserve Bank of India. He was directly engaged in the elaboration of the country’s current agent regulation. He remains on the board of several state financial institutions.

Marine Gerard

Marine Gerard, Project Lead, Boston Consulting Group

Marine Gerard is a project lead at Boston Consulting Group. Previously, she worked at MIT Sloan and Google. Her recent work has included developing hypotheses on interventions to drive the rural expansion of agent networks for cash-in/cash-out and digital financial services in developing markets.

Jeremiah Grossman

Jeremiah Grossman, Deputy Director, BFA

Jeremiah Grossman is deputy director at BFA. He has worked with a variety of public- and private-sector stakeholders to promote the development of safe and enabling legal and regulatory frameworks that foster financial inclusion, while protecting customers.





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.