This sequence of weblog posts paperwork Dvara Analysis’s ongoing work on the function of enterprise correspondent (BC) networks in offering cash-in, cash-out providers throughout the size and breadth of India.
Enterprise Correspondent (BC) brokers as devices of Money-In Money-Out (CICO) providers are a scalable and cost-effective approach of guaranteeing quick access to fundamental banking providers. Nevertheless, suppliers have struggled to keep up and increase these agent networks in distant areas resulting from low transaction volumes and insufficient incentives for his or her brokers. For shoppers to have trusted, dependable, and uninterrupted entry to CICO providers, the BC mannequin should allow profitable brokers with sustainable companies.
There isn’t any single level of convergence on what it means for the BC mannequin to achieve success. It requires the involvement and satisfaction of a number of stakeholders (particular person brokers, agent community managers, banks, regulators, and so on.), which suggests that there are a number of views from which the success of the agent mannequin could also be outlined. These views may be complementary or conflicting in nature. As an illustration, rising the commissions acquired by brokers might quantity to a extra ‘profitable’ mannequin from the agent’s perspective, however it additionally creates increased prices for community managers who might then be unable to increase networks into extra distant hamlets. Goel et al. (2022) suggest a theoretical strategy to check the BC Mannequin as a spinoff of the BPO Mannequin throughout six dimensions and defines agent success as the power of the mannequin to realize its supposed strategic, financial, and technological advantages together with satisfaction of its quite a few stakeholders. The African Monetary Inclusion Coverage Initiative (2020) suggests a regional coverage framework for Africa, highlighting key features to be thought of by regulators and DFS suppliers for environment friendly agent community administration. Consultative Group to Help the Poor’s (CGAP) Agent Administration Toolkit acts as a technical information for helping community managers who need to design and develop their agent community. Moreover, the Helix Institute of Digital Finance (2016) has developed an analytical software to measure success throughout six dimensions of agent community administration. This consists of community measurement, community distribution, community sustainability, service reliability, agent high quality and demographics. There may be, nevertheless, little deal with guaranteeing the satisfaction and safety of the end-user of branchless banking services- the shopper. Since BC Brokers are the closest banking touchpoints for patrons in rural outposts, any hindrances confronted by them straight have an effect on their capability to service their prospects.
Subsequently, we postulate that any form of examination of the components affecting profitable agent operations should not solely deal with capability constructing and danger administration for the agent, but in addition incorporate its related influence on the shopper. Constructing on present literature, we suggest a framework for evaluating agent success via a buyer safety lens; this could doubtlessly be deployed as a software to find out agent success whereas additionally permitting stakeholders to determine context-specific levers to enhance outcomes for the shopper.
The Agent Success Framework may be understood as a consolidation of the next layers of the BC mannequin, the place every layer includes of things affecting agent success in addition to the shopper:
Layer 1: Core Enterprise Mannequin
The income and value construction of the BC mannequin, and the time to breakeven, similar to some other enterprise, defines its profitability, and is commonly the clincher in deciding continued operations of the agent. When brokers are unable to recuperate prices incurred throughout their enterprise simply via commissions, this might result in dormancy and attrition. In such circumstances, typically, they use this income stream to complement their extra essential livelihoods actions like working a grocery retailer, web café, cell recharge/restore store, and so on. Nevertheless, as a result of low quantity of transactions in distant rural pockets, brokers might then need to resort to charging the shoppers straight, in a bilaterally settled style, which, whereas significant to their distinctive contexts, can be thought of a transparent violation of RBI laws for BCs. Different components such because the absence of an appropriate insurance coverage cowl for cash-in-transit and the unavailability of credit score for recurring bills have an effect on the agent’s capability to keep up satisfactory money stock and repair their prospects’ latent demand, thereby impacting their potential income stream.
Layer 2: Community Administration
The connection between the community supervisor and agent is outlined by the diploma of interplay between the 2 entities. In some circumstances, the brokers have a direct line with the supervisor for any queries that they increase for themselves or on behalf of the shopper, which permits for quicker decision. The community supervisor additionally performs a important function in supervision, monitoring, and coaching the agent on the suitable suite of providers to be supplied to the shopper. Brokers sharing an in depth relationship with their supervisor usually tend to keep energetic and higher outfitted to deal with buyer requests. Furthermore, the supervisor might also help the agent within the technique of account rebalancing and float administration by providing money administration providers, which reduces cases of service denial resulting from inadequate liquidity.
Layer 3: Regulatory Atmosphere
The regulatory atmosphere consists of every kind of subsidies, credit score, and tax exemption schemes for the agent to raised run their enterprise. The regulator might also take it upon themselves to find out the value of assorted merchandise supplied by the agent in addition to allow interoperability throughout platforms and suppliers. Unencumbered by regulatory inadequacies, the BC agent can operate easily and supply uninterrupted CICO providers to the shopper.
Layer 4: Exterior Atmosphere
The final layer consists of a number of exterior components that will impede the agent’s enterprise, leading to sub-optimal outcomes for the shopper. Technological failures reminiscent of transaction failure and community downtime typically result in misery and negatively have an effect on the shopper’s belief within the agent. Then again, brokers might get discouraged from conducting high-value transactions and reaching out to new prospects resulting from a scarcity of protecting mechanisms obtainable towards fraud dedicated by the shoppers (for example, utilizing faux forex for deposits and transfers, conducting illegitimate transactions via brokers and so forth). Lastly, the native financial setting of the area inside which the agent is working, together with competitors from different suppliers and in addition to brokers, might have an effect on their total capability to conduct and proceed their enterprise operations.
We plan to deploy the above Agent Success Mannequin to assist stakeholders reminiscent of community managers, banks, and policymakers enhance the power of their brokers to supply uninterrupted CICO providers. This diagnostic software might assist decide, ex-ante, whether or not an agent mannequin might function efficiently in a district or state as a result of adequacy of all 4 layers. It might even be used to determine, ex-post, the fault traces within the present agent mannequin, decide pathways for agent success, and enhance buyer outcomes.
 Goel, Okay., Bandara, W. & Gable, G. (2022) Banking the Unbanked: Conceptualizing Success of the Enterprise Correspondent Mannequin. Inf Syst Entrance. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/s10796-022-10345-7
 AfPI (2020). Regional Coverage Framework To Strengthen Agent Networks For Digital Monetary Providers. Retrieved from https://www.afi-global.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/AFI_AfPI_agent-networks_framework_AW3.pdf
 CGAP (2011). Agent Administration Toolkit: Constructing a Viable Community of Branchless banking Brokers. Retrieved from https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/898731468340143196/pdf/633350WP0Agent00Box0361513B0PUBLIC0.pdf
 Helix Institute of Digital Finance (2016). Profitable Agent Networks. Retrieved from https://www.microsave.web/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/New-Profitable-Agent-Networks-Remaining-Feb.-2017-2.pdf
 Reserve Financial institution of India (2010). Monetary Inclusion by Extension of Banking Providers- Use of Enterprise Correspondents (BCs). Retrieved from https://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/NotificationUser.aspx?Mode=0&Id=6017
Cite this weblog:
Mukherjee, A. (2023). An Agent Success Framework- Half III :Arriving at an ‘Agent Success’ Framework. Retrieved from Dvara Analysis.
Mukherjee, Abhishek. “An Agent Success Framework- Half III :Arriving at an ‘Agent Success’ Framework.” 2023. Dvara Analysis.
Mukherjee, Abhishek. 2023. “An Agent Success Framework- Half III :Arriving at an ‘Agent Success’ Framework.” Dvara Analysis.