Latest Posts


Monday, May 5, 2014

UPU News : Focus on financial inclusion

UPU research shows that 51 Posts worldwide held 1.6 billion savings and deposit accounts in 2010. With the average client holding an estimated 1.5 accounts, the number of people banked through the Post reaches more than one billion.
Despite having the largest number of contact points in the world, Posts are underused for financial inclusion. With 660,000 contact points in the world, Posts and their financial subsidiaries come second to banks in their potential to contribute to financial inclusion. There are 523,000 bank branches and ATMs in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Amin Benjelloun, director general of Poste Maroc, heads the UPU’s new postal financial inclusion project group. He tells us what countries must do to tap into the huge potential for bringing more people into the financial fold through the post.
What are the main challenges your group is set to tackle?
One of the greatest challenges is to make all relevant players – operators, governments, and central banks – more aware of how Posts can promote financial inclusion among populations. To date, the postal sector has often been forgotten in national financial inclusion strategies, despite Posts’ important role in this area.
Another challenge is to upgrade postal operators’ human capacities, because you must have a commercial culture to be able to sell basic financial products. The mentality in many Posts has to change. 

How do you expect to meet these challenges?
The creation of our group gives us a space for dialogue where we can also increase awareness among governments and member countries. First and foremost, we need to successfully raise awareness among the various players. We must convince governments of the scope, density and proximity of the postal networks, and of the trust the population has placed in them.
To do this, and to fulfil the mandate set by Congress, we will be organizing an annual forum with central banks and governments at Universal Postal Union headquarters.
Upgrading mechanisms also need to be put into place. This means creating a sales culture, because Posts have traditionally served users but not customers. So, for financial inclusion to succeed, postal staff have to know how to sell products and services, including to the poorest members of the population. 

What are the key or basic criteria for becoming a potential player in financial inclusion?
A shared desire among all stakeholders in essential. Governments, central banks and operators must work together to propose basic and accessible postal financial products, especially at an affordable price to appeal to low-income populations.
Morocco has had success in financial inclusion by first concentrating on reducing the cost of financial services (savings, but also transfers and credit) to reach the greatest possible number of people. For example, the postal bank developed mobile financial services that customers can use regardless of their mobile service provider.
Source :

No comments:

Post a Comment