Co-written by Mike McCaffrey
Field agents have been critical to expanding digital financial services in emerging markets, and we are seeing the same with pay-as-you-go (PAYGo) models to finance off-grid solar. Agents are at the heart of the PAYGo model, and a PAYGo provider’s success depends on the success of its agents. Unfortunately, current churn rates suggest agents are having problems, hindering both customer experience and the sector’s ability to scale. PAYGo providers need to better support agents in order to leverage them beyond the initial sale and grow the PAYGo business as a whole.
Co-authored with Javier Linares
Even though mobile and financial technology are advancing rapidly, banks and telecoms still manage agent networks just as they did ten years ago. They are still using the same techniques borrowed from fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and experiencing the same problems of high costs, low activity, unbalanced liquidity, and uneven customer experience.
To address this, we have released a new paper, Digital Solutions for Analog Agents: New Technologies to Manage Agent Networks, which analyzes the largest issues facing agent network managers and considers potential solutions that could be built from scratch or borrowed from adjacent industries.
Mike McCaffrey manages the East and Southern Africa region for the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) Inclusive Digital Economies programme.