What is BANKING AGENT? What does BANKING AGENT mean? BANKING AGENT meaning - BANKING AGENT definition - BANKING AGENT explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
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A banking agent is a retail or postal outlet contracted by a financial institution or a mobile network operator to process clients’ transactions. Rather than a branch teller, it is the owner or an employee of the retail outlet who conducts the transaction and lets clients deposit, withdraw, and transfer funds, pay their bills, inquire about an account balance, or receive government benefits or a direct deposit from their employer. Banking agents can be pharmacies, supermarkets, convenience stores, lottery outlets, post offices, and many more.
Globally, these retailers and post offices are increasingly utilized as important distribution channels for financial institutions. The points of service range from post offices in the Outback of Australia where clients from all banks can conduct their transactions, to rural France where the bank Crédit Agricole uses corner stores to provide financial services, to small lottery outlets in Brazil at which clients can receive their social payments and access their bank accounts.
Banking agents are usually equipped with a combination of point-of-sale (POS) card reader, mobile phone, barcode scanner to scan bills for bill payment transactions, personal identification number (PIN) pads, and sometimes personal computers (PCs) that connect with the bank’s server using a personal dial-up or other data connection. Clients that transact at the agent use a magstripe bank card or their mobile phone to access their bank account or e-wallet respectively. Identification of customers is normally done through a PIN, but could also involve biometrics. With regard to the transaction verification, authorization, and settlement platform, banking agents are similar to any other remote bank channel.
Local regulation will determine if financial institutions are allowed to work through retail outlets. Regulators generally determine what kind of, if any, financial institutions are permitted to contract banking agents, what products can be offered at the retail outlets, how financial institutions have to handle cash transport, know your customer requirements, consumer protection, and other operational areas.