What type of policies can promote the expansion of agent networks?

Cash-in/Cash-out (CICO) agent network expansion is key to ensuring people can capture the benefits of digital financial ecosystems. This is particularly important in contexts where communities may not have interacted with traditional or digital financial services. Incentives may be a policy tool which can improve financial viability for providers and agents.



Arguments for not having them

Efficiency and market competition

Subsidies and other type of incentives can distort the market, if badly designed. They can also unlevel the playing field arbitrarily in favor of one or some players.

Arguments to implement them

Impact on financial inclusion

Governments are well positioned to support the expansion of rural CICO networks, by leveraging data (or requesting additional data) in order to understand existing constraints to expand agent networks, or by leveraging their own infrastructure, and programs to support the activities of these networks.



  • The government can provide public subsidies and incentives to spark investment in rural CICO networks:
    • Enable rural CICO agents to generate more revenue streams.
      • Time-bound direct incentives to CICO agents or customers to cover costs or fees.
      • Support of innovation on collaborative CICO agent models through subsidies for research and development, based on  experimenting with new partnerships and new use cases.
      • Improving physical and financial infrastructure, such as mobile connectivity, national ID systems and central payment switches.
    • Collect sex - disaggregated data on customer and agents' transactions and identify specific gender-based constraints to close the gender gap in CICO access and usage.
    • Expand public and private partnerships that share CICO agent networks.
      • Leveraging social programs and public infrastructure to add public services to the mix offered by CICO agents.

Country Examples

Country Examples

Link to China case studies
Link to Colombia case studies
Link to India case studies