BFSI Sector Skill Council

Business Correspondent/Facilitator

In the vast landscape of financial services, there exists a crucial link between formal financial institutions and the unbanked or underbanked population: the Business Correspondent (BC) or Business Facilitator (BF). This unsung hero plays a pivotal role in extending financial services to the remotest corners of the globe, bridging the gap between traditional banking systems and communities lacking access to them. In this article, we’ll explore the significance, functions, challenges, and future prospects of Business Correspondents/Facilitators in fostering financial inclusion.

Understanding Business Correspondents/Facilitators

Business Correspondents (BCs) or Business Facilitators (BFs) are individuals or entities engaged by banks or financial institutions to provide banking services in areas where it is not viable to establish brick-and-mortar branches. They act as intermediaries, representing banks in remote or underserved areas, and facilitate banking transactions on behalf of the bank. These services may include account opening, deposits, withdrawals, remittances, and other basic banking activities.

Significance in Financial Inclusion

The importance of BCs/BFs lies in their ability to reach populations that are excluded or underserved by traditional banking systems. In many regions, especially rural or geographically isolated areas, setting up physical bank branches is not economically feasible. BCs bridge this gap by bringing banking services directly to the doorstep of communities, thereby promoting financial inclusion.

  1. Accessibility: BCs make banking services accessible to marginalized communities who may lack transportation or resources to travel to distant bank branches.
  2. Trust and Familiarity: BCs often belong to the communities they serve, which fosters trust and familiarity among locals. This is particularly significant in regions where people are wary of formal banking institutions.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Utilizing BCs is often more cost-effective for banks compared to establishing and maintaining brick-and-mortar branches in remote areas.
  4. Customized Solutions: BCs understand the unique needs and challenges of their communities and can tailor financial products and services accordingly.

Functions of Business Correspondents/Facilitators

The role of BCs/BFs extends beyond merely conducting transactions. They serve as a crucial link between banks and customers, performing various functions to ensure effective delivery of financial services:

  1. Customer Onboarding: BCs help individuals in remote areas open bank accounts, providing them with access to formal banking services for the first time.
  2. Transaction Facilitation: They facilitate cash deposits, withdrawals, fund transfers, and other banking transactions on behalf of the bank.
  3. Financial Literacy: BCs educate communities about financial products, services, and the importance of savings and responsible borrowing.
  4. Assistance in Government Schemes: BCs assist in the dissemination of government welfare schemes and subsidies, ensuring that eligible beneficiaries receive their entitlements.
  5. Microfinance and Credit: In some cases, BCs also act as agents for disbursing microloans and credit to small businesses and individuals.

Challenges Faced by Business Correspondents/Facilitators

Despite their critical role in promoting financial inclusion, BCs encounter several challenges in their operations:

  1. Infrastructure and Connectivity: Many remote areas lack basic infrastructure such as electricity and internet connectivity, making it difficult for BCs to conduct transactions electronically.
  2. Regulatory Compliance: Compliance with regulatory requirements can be burdensome for BCs, particularly in terms of documentation and reporting.
  3. Security Concerns: Handling cash in remote areas exposes BCs to security risks, including theft and fraud.
  4. Limited Product Offerings: BCs may have access to only a limited range of financial products and services, limiting their ability to meet the diverse needs of their communities.
  5. Sustainability: Ensuring the financial viability of BC operations in low-income areas can be challenging, particularly in the absence of sufficient transaction volumes.

Future Prospects and Innovations

Despite these challenges, the future outlook for BCs is promising, driven by technological advancements and innovative solutions:

  1. Digital Solutions: Leveraging technology such as mobile banking, biometric authentication, and blockchain can enhance the efficiency and reach of BC operations.
  2. Partnerships and Collaborations: Collaborations between banks, fintech companies, and government agencies can strengthen the BC model and expand its reach.
  3. Capacity Building: Investing in training and capacity building programs for BCs can enhance their skills and capabilities, enabling them to deliver a broader range of services effectively.
  4. Policy Support: Governments and regulatory authorities can play a crucial role in creating an enabling environment for BC operations by streamlining regulatory requirements and providing incentives for banks to engage with BCs.
  5. Innovative Financial Products: Introducing innovative financial products tailored to the needs of underserved communities can further drive adoption and usage of BC services.


Business Correspondents/Facilitators occupy a unique position in the financial services ecosystem, serving as a bridge between formal banking institutions and underserved communities. Their role in promoting financial inclusion and empowering marginalized populations cannot be overstated. Despite facing various challenges, BCs continue to play a crucial role in extending the benefits of formal financial services to the last mile. By leveraging technology, fostering partnerships, and enhancing regulatory support, the BC model holds tremendous potential to drive inclusive growth and development in the years to come.