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An absence of traditional retail banking services and a payment infrastructure in developing countries has resulted in a high proportion of financially excluded people. The development of new business models (branchless banking using agents networks, partnerships with mobile network operators, distributors, utility companies) and the use of new technologies (mobile phones, cards, biometry) allows financial institutions to reach the underserved clients more efficiently, improve the service offering (saving, loans, insurance, transfers, payments), lower the costs and reduce the risks of banking services in remote areas.


Financial and microfinance institutions need to consider:

  • The regulatory environment, in particular, applying to branchless and agent banking
  • The partnership they can establish in relation to the technical solution, agent network management, communication and funding. Various decision criteria shall be considered: strategic fit, coherence in the objectives and the marketing approach and the capacity to deliver
  • The target, the value proposition compared to other channels and alternatives, products and services (loan disbursement and repayment, saving collections, payroll and insurance) offering to customers and the required training and communication
  • Distribution channels and setting up bank agents
    • The impact on the organization and its operations (business processes) to manage the new multichannel (branch, loan officers, agents, mobile, cards and internet) approach
    • The right IT platform and the interface with the MIS
  • Business models, revenue share, pricing for the end-user and commission for the partners
  • Project management to coordinate the tasks, various stakeholders, and put in place the right metrics to monitor performance and improve results

Track record

UOB (Opportunity International) and mVISA: Rwanda
BSP: Papua New Guinea
MTN & VFC (Vision Fund): Rwanda
MicroCred: Senegal
Xacbank: Mongolia

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