Women’s agent network—the missing link in India’s financial inclusion story: A supply-side perspective

About 10% of 1.26 million BCs in India are women. This policy note discusses a supply-side perspective on challenges and opportunities to expand the women agent network in India.

Over the past decade, business correspondents (BC) agent outlets have grown by nearly 45% CAGR compared to bank branches, which grew at 6.4%. However, female BC agents represent only 10% of the BC agent network. Mounting evidence points to increased financial activity by women if they transact with a female BC agent.

This note discusses a supply-side perspective on expanding women’s agent network in India, based on a survey with private BC network managers. We discuss the efforts made in several fronts to recruit and include more female BC agents and the challenges supply-side providers face in the process. Based on the study, we conclude with recommendations to increase understanding and appreciation among service providers about gender policies and practices and their effect on cash-in-cash-out (CICO) operations.

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Written by


Akhand Tiwari


Sonal Jaitly

Associate Partner