Transactions via core banking services have seen a 400 per cent spike in 2017 on increasing use of agent points for financial transactions along with government-to-people facilitation services, says a report.
"This has translated to higher monthly median revenue and profit, which doubled from their 2015 levels-from $40 to $93 and $16 to $31,respectively," a study by financial inclusion consulting firm MicroSave in partnership with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said today.
Almost two-thirds of the agents conduct interoperable transactions, finds the report. While about 70 per cent of interoperable agents offer cash-in services, about 60 per cent offer cash-out and remittances for other banks, it said.
"This also explains the reduction in the number of non-exclusive agents, as agents no longer need to be associated with multiple providers to be able to serve more customers, it is a common learning that interoperability offers benefits for the wider ecosystem, which include wider adoption, higher transaction volumes, and greater velocity of money in the ecosystem," it said.
The report also finds that there has been a significant rise in the proportion of agents receiving induction and refresher training sessions in 2017 (77 per cent and 87 per cent, respectively), compared to 59 per cent and 61 per cent, respectively, in 2015.
Regular monitoring of agents, however, has seen a dip, and needs to be on providers' agenda, the report suggests.
With an increase in the number of transactions, the cases of fraud have also seen a rise.
The report reveals that about 35 per cent agents assist customers by entering the transaction password on their behalf. Also 24 per cent agents report that they provide transaction slips that they have prepared themselves as proof of transaction to customers as opposed to printed receipts.
"The providers need to incorporate fraud typology and mitigation measures into specialised training modules and ensure delivery of such training to the agents," the report said.