The scale of the CICO access challenge
Looking at the seven focus countries, significant variations and nuances emerge. Populations in Kenya and Uganda have significant CICO access, but large gaps remains, mainly in rural frontier areas. India and Indonesia have a particular challenge in rural frontier areas, where the gap is immense (respectively 65% and 73% of the population in rural frontiers lack access to CICO services in these countries). For other countries (Bangladesh, Pakistan, Tanzania), opportunities exist to expand in “dense rural” and “rural oases” areas in addition to “rural frontier” areas.
However, while some countries (such as Bangladesh) have high population-to-agent ratios in rural areas, which could provide a viable market for CICO models, the low population-to-agent ratios in other markets (Tanzania and Kenya), especially in the rural frontiers, make long-term economic viability uncertain without external intervention or the development of alternative CICO distribution models such as roving agents.