Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) is a programme of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) that operates in Zambia in cooperation with Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ). In partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, MM4P commissioned the Helix Institute of Digital Finance to conduct an Agent Network Assessment (ANA) research project in Zambia.
This research project is designed to understand what drives the success and scale of agent networks. With the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the ANA research has been completed in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Based on the interviews of over 1,200 digital financial agents in Zambia, the ANA research focuses on operational determinants of success in agent network management, specifically:
- Agency Demographics
- Core Agency Operations
- Liquidity Management
- Business Model Viability
Zambia was the earliest adopter of Digital Financial Services (DFS) in Africa (with the launch of Cellpay in 2002). In 2015, Zambian agents conducted transactions on par with high performing mobile money countries in East Africa such as Tanzania and Uganda. The country has a diverse and competitive market, primarily focused on payment services.
Yet Zambia faces many challenges to reach its full potential. Agents’ revenues are lower and so is their profitability. Agents cite that customers have poor awareness of DFS. If certain issues are addressed, Zambian DFS providers could increase profits while expanding financial inclusion in the country.
The main objective of the convening is to highlight key insights and data on the agent landscape in Zambia and to discuss key strategic considerations with an aim of turning those insights into action.
For more information, please refer to our ANA Research Highlight, Boosting DFS Agent Networks in Zambia.
The UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) is active in Benin, Senegal and Zambia in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation. The programme provides support to branchless and mobile financial services to demonstrate how the correct mix of financial, technical and policy support can build a robust branchless and mobile financial services ecosystem that reaches low income people in LDCs.
UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 49 least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their small businesses by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF programmes help to empower women, and are designed to catalyze larger capital flows from the private sector, national governments and development partners, for maximum impact toward the Millennium Development Goals.
Financial Sector Deepening Zambia (FSDZ) is a DFID-funded programme established in September 2013 with the mandate to increase financial inclusion. FSDZ partners with financial service providers and other stakeholders with the shared commitment to increase the number of households and enterprises accessing financial services.