The Agent Network Accelerator Research Findings Report – Uganda
Agents are optimistic about the business, with the majority seeing themselves continuing as an agent in one year’s time according to the survey report published today by Financial Sector Deepening Uganda and The Helix Institute of Digital Finance.
In Uganda the biggest barrier preventing poor people from accessing digital financial services is the cost and complexity of building and managing a sustainable agent network across a broad geography – the motivation for this follow-up research study on the evolution of the network since 2013. Over 2,200 nationally representative agent interviews were conducted, covering the following key areas: network structure, network operational efficiency, agent viability, quality of service and also, control and compliance.
The research findings highlight a number of positive attributes of Uganda’s agent network: among others, high profitability and optimism among DFS agents, a high proportion of dedicated agents focused solely on DFS and airtime distribution, agent collaboration to manage liquidity, and high rates of initial induction training. The report also discusses several challenges, including the lack of diversity in product offering, high rates of crime and fraud reported by agents, high prevalence of Over-The-Counter transactions, low compliance, and insufficient monitoring.
These findings will be relevant not only to Mobile Network Operators and Agent Network Managers, but also to banks – especially with the emergence of agency banking – insurers and FinTech companies, among others.
Commenting on the research Christopher Musoke, Chief Executive Officer, FSD Uganda said “With the increasing use of mobile money and the eminent, arrival of Agency Banking following the amendment of the FIA, understanding the agents environment is increasingly important.”
The Uganda report is part of The Helix Institute’s Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) research project. ANA survey was a collaboration between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and MicroSave.
About FSD Uganda:
FSD Uganda is an independent, not-for-profit company whose objective is a deeper, broader and more inclusive financial sector in Uganda. It supports innovation, conducts research and helps improve policy, laws and regulation that shape the financial sector. For more, visit our website at https://www.fsduganda.or.ug/
About Helix Institute of Digital Finance:
About The Helix Institute: The Helix Institute of Digital Finance, has established itself as the go-to-place for world class training and cutting edge insights in digital finance. Founded in November 2013, the Helix Institute has delivered training to over 450 digital finance practitioners from over 150 companies in Africa and Asia.