Women’s Agent Network—the Missing Link in India’s Financial Inclusion Story: A Supply-Side Perspective
The business correspondent (BC) model is a vital pillar of India's National Financial Inclusion Strategy. It enables the banking system to expand its outreach at a low cost, decongest branches, and offer basic, essential financial services in remote and underserved areas. BCs are even more essential today as the government gradually digitizes social benefit transfer programs and moves them to a cash transfer mode, crediting the benefits directly to the bank account of beneficiaries. However, studies estimate that only about 10 percent of 1.26 million BCs in India are women. This paper draws from MSC’s work with all agent types in India to share a supply-side perspective on challenges and opportunities for expanding women agent network in India.