The global economy is undergoing a rapid transformation, with digital technologies changing the way people access financial information and services. The rapid expansion of digital finance retail distribution and agent networks are necessary building blocks to a robust digital finance ecosystem and to serve as important channels for reaching the world’s financially excluded and underbanked people. Yet, strong evidence demonstrating the important role of retail agent networks in driving inclusive finance and access to finance by women, and interventions to propel the reach and access of digital financial systems and women access to finance – remain scarce in emerging economies like Ghana. The overarching aim of this research is to bridge this gap. Specifically, we intend to quantitatively examine the extent of outreach, usage and constraints of digital finance retail agent network in the rural and peri-urban communities in Ghana, examine how digital finance retail agent network may be used to drive inclusive finance and women access to finance in the rural and peri-urban communities in Ghana and propose interventions to relax the constraints thereby extending agent networks. Consistent with the methodology and approach for this type of exercise, the proposed study will rely on randomized control trials research design. Based on this, we develop a model on these issues and propose a research initiative and impacts of interventions to inform policy and practice. 

  • Joshua Abor, University of Ghana Business School
  • Daniel Ofori-Sasu, Central University, Ghana
  • Lordina Amoah, University of Ghana Business School