African Banks are using Agent Networks to unlock the potential of Financial Inclusion

African Banks are using Agent Networks to unlock the potential of Financial Inclusion

African Banks are using Agent Networks to unlock the potential of Financial Inclusion
African Banks are using Agent Networks to unlock the potential of Financial Inclusion

Papersoft is now a technological partner of two of the biggest African banks: Equity Bank Group and Ecobank from Democratic Republic of Congo to help them delivering their financial inclusion services via hyperlocal agents. Banks alongside with technology providers can play an important role in accelerating financial inclusion.

In emerging markets, reaching underbanked consumers with the traditional bank distribution model at a lower cost is very difficult because the territory is wide and people need to understand the benefit of the service first. In this approach, branches are located far away from rural areas and people spend hours in long queue lines. To solve the challenge of delivering financial services to underserved and unbanked populations banks have realized they needed to close the gap between the branch and the customer.

Therefore, they turned to an agency banking model which relies on agent networks to provide the personal service and trusted client relationships to help close this “last-mile” gap”. Powered by Papersoft Digital and Mobile technology, the banks besides activating new bank accounts in real-time, are able to build a sustainable and data-driven agent network, with tools to improve field operations (agent onboarding, training and performance monitoring; collecting and depositing cash, liquidity alerts and commissions management), capture historical transaction and enable deeper financial inclusion. This way, the banks get end-to-end visibility of the agents’ network with data analytics to support business decisions.

Being one of the largest pan-African banks, Equity Bank Group has created a new channel to market using agent networks to reach clients living in remote regions in Democratic Republic of Congo. The results? It is generating early and better sales results, increasing market share and selling higher value financial services to thousands of new customers in a secure, quick and easy way. The numbers are impressive: with Papersoft as a partner, agents were able to open more than 65k accounts within the first 6 months only in Kinshasa and Lubumbashi – an increase of over 24% – these accounts have more than 60% collected deposit reducing the risk of becoming dormant.

If you are looking for expertise in managing an agent network read the full case study of Equity bank with all the details of this project.

In July 2018, Ecobank started a strategy in Kinshasa with 20 agents acquiring new agents and merchants. With our solution, the team can open an account in DRC, instantaneously, guaranteeing the KYC wherever the customers are, making the relation with the bank hyper-local and offering convenience in managing day-to-day finances for millions of people.

Other success use cases of Papersoft mobile and digital solutions in financial services include M-pesa in DRC and Mozambique, and more recently Xikila Money – Banco Postal in Angola. Stay tuned for more news in papersoft-dms.com

Edited by Hugo Pacheco – Head of Sales and Solution, Papersoft