This Note examines perceptions of transaction v. ledger fees and poor people’s willingness to pay for agent-based financial services delivered in their villages. It identifies a wide range of barriers for low income people to transact in traditional bank branches and provides evidence that they are indeed willing to pay reasonable fees for convenient service.
Poor people recognise the benefits of agent-based banking but have concerns about agent-based systems that will also negatively affect willingness to pay. To cover the cost of paying agents, banks will either have to charge for deposits, or look to make money on other services delivered through their agents, including from remittances and payments selling insurance, and interest earned on loans. Pricing remains a challenge – but there are many opportunities!