Agent Networks are a critical interface between poor customers and digital financial services (DFS) providers. These networks enable cash-in and cash-out (CICO) transactions that allow customers to convert e-money into cash and cash into e-money—enabling the use of DFS. Therefore, the broader the reach of CICO agent networks, the broader the customer base for DFS providers.
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. The challenge is the difficulty most agent business models face in viably operating in many of these rural areas, which results in a large rural agent coverage gap.
This analysis by CGAP explores the journeys taken by 5 countries (China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, and Kenya) to extend the reach and quality of rural agent networks