About financial inclusion

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.

Research on postal financial inclusion

The UPU works with its members and various international organizations to better understand the contribution of postal networks to financial inclusion. A study led with the World Bank concluded that unbanked people including the poor, less educated and unemployed are more likely to get their financial services from a post office than a bank.

In partnership with UN Women, we also showed that in developing countries, Posts that offer account-based services have twice as many female clients as banks. This demonstrates the Posts’ capacity to become public policy tools in favor of the financial inclusion of women.

In collaboration with the International Labour Organization, the UPU also published a study which analyses the potential of postal networks to become well-suited providers of insurance. The report presents three types of business models in which postal insurance can help advancing financial inclusion through insurance access.