Is the Dominican Republic Ready for Banking Through Retailers?

Fernández, Mary (2013)

In March, the Dominican Republic’s central bank announced new regulations that will allow financial intermediaries, including savings and loan associations, to contract with retailers across the country as subagents. The change, intended to increase access to financial services among the nation’s poor, will allow pharmacies, hardware stores, convenience stores and other outlets to provide basic financial services such as deposits and withdrawals from savings and checking accounts, credit card payments and domestic money transfers.

Are the changes a good idea? Does the Dominican Republic’s government have the right regulations and plans in place to manage these new financial services? What business groups and consumers stand to gain the most, and who has the most to lose? What else needs to be done in order to improve access to financial services to the country’s underserved communities?