Agent Network Journeys Toward the Last Mile: A Cross-Country Perspective December 2020

Agent networks are a critical interface between poor customers and digital financial services providers, and enable cash-in and cash-out (CICO) transactions. Given that a majority of the world’s financially excluded and underserved customers live in rural areas, extending rural CICO agent networks is critical to further financial inclusion.

CGAP and its partners did deep dives into five financial markets that have significantly expanded the rural agent networks despite very different contexts: China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, and Kenya. This Focus Note reveals three distinct journeys country stakeholders have taken to extend the reach and quality of rural agent networks. In each journey, the critical context relates to:

  • What is the use case, or financial service, broadly accepted by rural communities that generated enough traction to motivate investments in rural agent networks.
  • Which type of digital financial services provider had the capacity to lead this agent expansion process.

About this Publication

By Emilio Hernandez, Christopher Blackburn, Anand Raman , Paul Reynolds