Field Agents being the backbone of all financial inclusion activities, it is imperative that well laid out policies and procedures are adhered to while appointing one. The framework for identifying and appointing field agents is built with support from the banks.
Field agents are classified into two types – Business facilitators and business correspondents.
- Reputation of the entity.
- Capacity to provide social support to poor and marginalized sections.
- Grass root presence in the area.
- Capability for proper maintenance of records and accounts.
- Experience of prior relationship with the bank
- A specific check on the reputation in terms of commitment, integrity and competency in the local area.
- The sources of funds, deployment, etc.
- Due diligence including verification of non-affiliation with political or religious organizations and absence of any criminal record as verified from the police authorities.
- Reference to ensure the aptitude and capability to perform the role.
- Minimum eligibility criteria such as education, age, knowledge of local area language.
To get a list of such NGOs who are active in their areas of operation banks may take the help of organizations such as NABARD , SIDBI, AMFI & CAPART.
The entities to be engaged as business facilitator’s or business correspondent’s enter into a formal contractual relationship with the bank. Banks have an established system of monitoring the performance of accounts brought in by such agencies and rate the agencies on the basis of the performance of the accounts.