Agents for Change: Four Ways Funders Can Support Rural CICO Networks
Thriving rural agent networks that provide cash-in cash-out (CICO) services are essential to improve the uptake of DFS, promote financial inclusion, and advance SDGs. However, there are several challenges in developing these networks, including weak demand for DFS, unviable business models, inadequate rural infrastructure, and lack of enabling regulatory policies. As a result, financial service providers tend to treat rural agents and clients like their urban counterparts, often providing undifferentiated services and unable to develop viable business models.
Development funders have a critical role in supporting the expansion of rural agent networks. This webinar highlighted learn four ways in which they can make an impact, using CGAP’s market systems approach to financial inclusion.
Emilio Hernandez, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
Emilio leads CGAP’s work to promote agent networks’ rural reach and quality. His work focuses on better understanding the financial needs of underserved client groups, like smallholder families, and experimenting with providers innovative strategies and products that meet those needs. Prior to CGAP, he led technical cooperation programs focused on inclusive rural and agricultural finance at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations overseeing interventions in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. He also oversaw business operations for a large international agricultural technology company throughout Central America.
Estelle Lahaye, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
Estelle leads CGAP’s work to engage with funders, global advocacy bodies, and support organizations to co-create knowledge, share information, provide guidance, and advocate for effective financial inclusion. With over 15 years of experience in financial inclusion and banking, her work at CGAP has also included facilitating CGAP’s strategy development process and leading experimentation and research activities on digital financial services in the West African Economic and Monetary Union.
Alice Nègre, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, CGAP
Alice works on CGAP’s guidance for financial inclusion funders. In recent years, she has focused on promoting a systemic approach to financial inclusion by adapting generic guidelines and training material to the financial industry. With over 20 years working in financial inclusion, Alice has launched and managed a microfinance rating agency, advised governments, sat on the board of microfinance institutions and advised SME banks, supervised demand and supply side surveys, and facilitated market-wide consultations.