February 4, 2016

How a Network of Banking Agents Can Build Livelihoods

How a Network of Banking Agents Can Build Livelihoods

Imagine having to travel three hours just to deposit money or apply for a loan. For millions of people around the world, especially in remote areas, this is a daily reality. They often risk losing money from time traveled or theft on the journey to the bank branch.

“I used to have to take a bus trip, spending a lot of money on transportation, just to travel to a FINCA branch,” says Anna, who sells sewing machines in Tanzania.

In 2012, FINCA launched agency banking in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The innovative method uses local merchants and shopkeepers in areas where FINCA doesn’t have a presence to provide basic banking services to remote clients. The agents are equipped with POS machines, a portable device that connects to bank accounts through biometric fingerprints.

Today, over 75 percent of all FINCA client transaction in the DRC are done through our proprietary agent network. And we’ve expanded these services to the underserved in Tanzania and Zambia as well, helping many build their livelihoods with the help of a banking agent.

“Now I just use the agents,” Anna says. “I can just walk, and deposit or withdraw my money anytime I want.”

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