Agent Networks at the Last Mile

Most digital financial services users around the world live in cash-based societies, and they require a cheap and easy way to switch between the worlds of cash and digital currency. Agent networks that provide this service tend to cluster around urban and peri-urban areas and larger rural towns. However, global evidence shows that emerging agent network business models are improving agent viability in remote areas home to many of the world’s poor and financially excluded populations, many of whom may also receive payments from the government. Based on an analysis of these models, this report describes six principles for effective cash-in/cash-out agent networks at the last mile and highlights examples of where they are being applied throughout the world. Digital financial services providers, policy makers, and regulators will find concrete recommendations for putting these principles into practice to advance financial inclusion.

Themes: Agent Network, Incentives, and Liquidity, Digital Payment Ecosystems, Financial Inclusion