Over the last few months, CGAP has been asking mobile money operators, digital banks, fintechs and other DFS providers across Asia and Africa how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting their agent networks.
Two key findings
COVID-19 is changing DFS transaction types, which could force providers to revisit pricing and fee strategies. There has been a decrease in low-value, high-frequency P2P transactions and an increase in high-value, low-frequency transactions like bill payments and G2P transfers, a finding that is also mirrored by Caribou Digital and Microsave Consulting recent research on agents.
Will DFS providers have to revisit the model of paying agents based on the number of transactions and not value?
Agents who offer only financial services are struggling more than others. DFS providers say that dedicated agents are having a harder time recovering than nondedicated agents. Diversification has enabled nondedicated agents to reallocate scarce working capital to DFS transactions associated with services less affected by the crisis, reducing their exposure to the hardest hit services.