The Benefits of Agent Lending
As remote work becomes a permanent fixture and mobile connectivity becomes an integral part of daily life, telcos are facing the challenge of meeting evolving customer expectations. The era of providing traditional mobile services like voice calling is waning, with telcos losing revenue and customers to fintech companies offering a diverse range of digital services. To combat this trend, embracing mobile financial services has emerged as a compelling strategy for recovering lost revenue and improving customer engagement. In this article, we'll explore how agent lending, a part of mobile financial services, is reshaping the landscape of churn reduction for telcos.
Understanding Agent Lending
Agent lending is a strategic service offered by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) through their agents. These agents are equipped with the necessary legal, technical, and financial capabilities to extend mobile financial services beyond regular offerings. This includes services such as mobile money lending, advanced airtime and data lending, handset financing, and providing small to medium-sized loans.
Agent lending operates by creating credit profiles for customers over time, enabling agents to offer various financial services based on their credit scores. This approach fosters financial inclusion and addresses the needs of unbanked and underbanked individuals.
Benefits for Customers
- Financial Identity Establishment: Many customers lack an established financial identity, which limits their access to financial assistance. Agent lending empowers MNOs to help customers build financial identity profiles through services like advanced airtime and data lending and mobile money lending. These profiles facilitate access to broader financial services in the future.
- Access to Loans: A significant portion of the population, especially in regions like South Africa, lacks access to financial services. Agent lending provides a lifeline for the unbanked and underbanked, offering them access to loans and other crucial financial services.
- Enhanced Financial Inclusion: Mobile financial services offer an avenue for MNOs to promote financial inclusivity among underserved communities. The agent lending model caters to customers who prefer human interaction, fostering trust and encouraging their participation in the digital financial ecosystem.
Benefits for Telcos
- Upskilling and Improved Agent Services: As digital services expand, the demand for human resources decreases, leading to potential job losses. Agent lending allows telcos to invest in upskilling existing employees, ensuring they continue to contribute value to the customer experience while safeguarding jobs.
- Strengthened Customer Relationships: By providing mobile financial services, telcos enhance customer experiences and loyalty. These services create a deeper bond with existing customers and facilitate smoother onboarding for new ones, ultimately reducing churn and boosting Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).
- Positioning as a Trusted Service Provider: Offering secure mobile money lending and financial services establishes trust in telcos' brands. By incorporating agent lending, telcos can position themselves as reliable service providers, gaining the trust of both new and existing customers.
Airvantage: Pioneering Mobile Financial Services
While the benefits of agent lending are clear, telcos may have concerns about the associated risks. This is where Airvantage, a leading mobile financial services provider in Africa, steps in. Airvantage specializes in advanced airtime, data lending, mobile wallets, mobile money lending, and handset finance. By partnering with Airvantage, telcos can expand their services and revenue streams while Airvantage assumes the risk and ensures secure financial operations.
In the era of remote work and digital connectivity, telcos must adapt to changing customer expectations. Mobile financial services, especially through agent lending, offer a powerful strategy for reducing churn, enhancing customer loyalty, and increasing revenue. By embracing this innovative approach and partnering with trusted service providers like Airvantage, telcos can secure their position as leaders in the industry while offering essential financial services to underserved populations.
If you’d like to learn how Airvantage can help you launch mobile financial services for agent lending, book a consultation with us.