IIF Authors

Status: Will be live at 06/27/2019 15:40

Leveraging Technologies to Improve the Quality and Maximize the Productivity of Agent Models

  • As a means of reaching underserved customers at low cost, financial institutions have designated authority and responsibility to banking agents to deliver financial products and services. Agent banking is a model for delivering financial services whereby an institution — be it a financial service provider or a mobile network operator — partners with a retail agent to extend services in remote or hard-to-reach areas.
  • Despite the growing volume of agents, the agent network model is rife with utilization and operational challenges. Only 55 percent of mobile money agents are active — meaning they have facilitated at least one transaction in the past month.Similar evidence of inactivity among banking agents operating in the financial industry is emblematic of the formidable task of managing agent networks.
  • The good news is that technology offers financial institutions an opportunity to make agent models more efficient and productive for themselves and their customers. Based on in-depth interviews with industry experts and senior bank officers, and supplemented by a review of the literature, this brief examines the role of technological innovation as a potential driver for improving the quality and maximizing the productivity of agent models.