The provision of basic postal financial services contributes significantly to global economic and social development and plays an important role in improving living standards.
The postal sector is able to play a key role in the payments market and the financial inclusion of populations, diminishing consumer risk related to the usage of informal networks and money laundering.
According to a UPU study, postal operators provide some 1.5 billion people worldwide with access to basic financial services (payments, money transfers, and savings).
Postal Payment Services
The postal network, through its worldwide coverage and the combination of electronic, financial and physical dimensions, ensures that all citizens of the world have access to efficient, reliable, secure and affordable electronic payment services.
The postal network comprises more than 663,000 physical contact points offering remittances, the postal payments services (PPS) a traditionally more affordable formal financial services channel compared to banks, money transfer operators and others.
Other Postal Financial Services
Posts, in general, extend their PPS by offering related products and services to their customers, such as:
− Savings/postal accounts
− Pension payments
− Bill payments
− Payment of social aid and scholarships
− Payment of e-commerce products
− Mobile payments.
Financial inclusion is the provision of basic financial services (savings, payments, money transfers, insurance, credit) to people without access to such services.
Some 1.5 billion people worldwide are already using the financial services provided by Posts. The postal sector is therefore the second largest contributor to financial inclusion worldwide, behind banks but far ahead of microfinance institutions or mobile phone operators.
The UPU helps its member countries to introduce or develop inclusive and sustainable financial services. As an information and technical assistance platform for the postal sector, the UPU is an ideal partner for lending institutions and donors in the effort to make postal financial services accessible to the most disadvantaged populations.
The activity is performed by the UPU within the Committee 4 of the Council of Administration.
The UPU works with its members and various international organizations to better understand the contribution of postal networks to financial inclusion.
The UPU also provides its member countries with technical assistance to improve their contribution to financial inclusion at the national level.