About financial services
The provision of basic postal financial services contributes significantly to global economic and social development and plays an important role in improving living standards. According to a UPU study, postal operators provide some 1.5 billion people worldwide with access to basic financial services (payments, money transfers, savings).
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.
It is the UPU's mission to help build a worldwide electronic postal payment network. In this connection, it has developed a legal framework in the form of the Postal Payment Services Agreement and its Regulations, and, through its Postal Technology Centre, the International Financial System (IFS), a tool which allows postal operators to provide money transfer services.
The organisation provides Posts with the necessary technical and financial assistance in favour of actions and programmes that are coordinated on the regional level. Joint projects are also being managed with various international organisations.
Under an initial project funded jointly by the UPU, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and France, 355 rural post offices in six countries of western Africa were connected to the UPU’s electronic payment network and money transfer volumes doubled between 2009 and 2010.
In the light of the success of this initial project, IFAD will provide 750,000 USD to fund two new projects in central Asia and Asia-Pacific. Rural populations of the 10 participating countries, as well as migrants and their families, will thus have access to secure and affordable money transfer services. These projects will be implemented between 2011 and 2013.
Cooperation with the World Bank
Thanks to financial support from the African Institute for Remittances, the World Bank’s Payment Systems Unit has been able to finance a number of activities in support of African Posts. These include risk analyses for the entire remittance process within four designated operators, reinforcing the operational capacities of nine operators, and training in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.