What is driving the success and scale of mobile money agents in Uganda?
After its official launch in Kampala in January 2014, The Helix Institute of Digital Finance has this week published its ‘Agent Network Accelerator Survey – Uganda Country Report’, available for download at www.helix-institute.com/data-and-insights. The Uganda report is the first of eight country reports on agent networks, as part of the cutting-edge Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) research project. ANA, a collaboration between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and MicroSave, is the largest research project on agent networks in the world, focusing on the country’s factors for success in agent network management and what the industry needs to focus on in the next stages of development
In general, the report finds that agents are pervasive and profitable in Uganda, but face large-scale issues of fraud, service downtime and robbery. There seem to be significant opportunities for providers to expand the networks to rural areas far beyond the financial infrastructure, increase the quality of agent support, and offer more products at the agent level.
The Uganda Agent Network report is based on over 2,000 mobile money agent surveys carried out in 2013 all over the country. Uganda is among eight African and Asian countries participating in the world-class research project, selected for their contribution to the development of digital financial services globally. The other African countries surveyed in the four-year project include Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria. In Asia the countries to be surveyed are India, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The Tanzania and Kenya reports are scheduled to be released in the coming months, with data from Bangladesh due after that.
The information gathered from the country reports will be infused into training courses offered through The Helix Institute of Digital Finance. The Helix Institute is running four Agent Network Accelerator (ANA) training courses this year. The Core ANA Courses – for deployments focusing on building an agent network, will run in March and August. The Advanced ANA Courses – for deployments managing a nationwide network of agents, will run in April and September. Visit their website www.helix-institute.com for more details.