10 September 2009

Understanding what drives profits for agents – M-PESA

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Agent
In emerging markets, agents are the customer-facing element for mobile banking providers, “who rely on them to open accounts, do customer care, and (crucially) stock adequate amounts of cash and e-float to enable clients to deposit and withdrawal. Yet, there is no consensus on how to build a viable agent network.”

CGAP, the independent policy and research center dedicated to advancing financial access for the world’s poor, looked at M-PESA merchants in Kenya for clues about the profit drivers for agents .

“We studied 20 agents with 125 locations. We focused on small stores of the kind found in urban slums and rural areas, which make up the vast bulk of M-PESA agents. We spent 3 weeks in the field. What did we find?”

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