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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

UPU News : Posts can bring affordable remittances to all

23.06.2014 - The UPU has reiterated its strong commitment to lowering remittance costs through the postal network to benefit the world’s poor and underprivileged.

In countries like Bangladesh, inward remittances accounted for  14.1 billion USD or more than 12 per cent of GDP in 2012 (Photo: IFAD/GMB Akash)
The postal network, with some 640,000 outlets, is well placed to provide all postal financial services – including remittances - to anyone anywhere, said UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein at a recent meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Conference (UNCTAD).
“The Post has been providing these services for more than 100 years,” Hussein said. “It has been at the vanguard of financial inclusion even before the words ‘financial inclusion’ existed.”
He added that the UPU has been helping 70 countries to lower costs of remittances via the Post through its software, International Financial System or IFS, over an electronic platform. This technological solution enables easy e-money transfers across borders at low cost.
For its part, the UPU is also calling on governments to continue to support their public postal operator as the primordial tool to further develop access to financial services offered by the Post.


At the high-level event, UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said that reducing the costs of remittances would encourage financial inclusion, given that 2.5 billion adults worldwide remain unbanked.
International migrants from developing countries will send home at least 436 billion USD of remittances in 2014, according to the World Bank’s latest estimates. “Remittances are an important source of finance to countries with large migrant populations,” Kituyi reminded delegates.
However, because the market also contains large private-sector players, the costs of international remittances can be high for senders and receivers. As an example, Kituyi mentioned that remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa generated transaction fees of almost 13 per cent of remittance value on average in 2013.
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, UNCTAD focuses on development issues, particularly international trade, and has 194 member countries.

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