CICO Agents: The Under-Valued "First Responders"
Given the importance of cash-in/cash-out (CICO) agents, MSC is currently conducting a study to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses across eight countries in Asia and Africa. Specifically, they want to understand the impact on the demand for financial services through agents, agent operations, and their ability to support government cash transfer programs. Early evidence from the research points to the unique challenges that agents currently face and highlights the need to support them through favorable policies, including:
- Classify CICO business as an essential service.
- Focus on the health and safety of CICO agents.
- Offer special remuneration.
- Ensure better coordination across government agencies and service providers.
- Actively provide liquidity management support.