About postal 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.

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).

Worldwide coverage

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 and is traditionally a more affordable formal financial services channel compared to banks, money transfer operators and others.

Global network

It is the UPU's mission to help build a worldwide electronic postal payment network. It does this in the form of an international treaty, known as the Postal Payment Services Agreement and its Regulations, and through its Postal Technology Centre's International Financial System (IFS) software.

This suite of software tools allows postal operators to offer electronic postal payment services, providing state-of-the-art guarantees to secure payments between operators and protecting the interests of consumers, senders and beneficiaries alike. These are complemented with the UPU trademark “PostTranfer”, the automated clearing and settlement system (PPS*Clearing) and a set of additional tools for business and quality support.

Technical and financial assistance projects

The UPU provides Posts with the necessary technical and financial assistance toward activities and programmes that are coordinated on the regional level. Joint projects are also being managed in partnership with various international organizations, among others the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, International Fund for Agricultural Development, International Organization for Migration, World Bank, World Savings and Retail Banking Institute and Visa.

The projects' scope covers a variety of assistance, including equipment and technical support, connectivity, security, fraud prevention, Anti-money laundering, Combating the financing of terrorism TF, business development and marketing, cash and risk management, internal control, skills management, customer care and operational matters, taking into account the specific needs of Posts. As a result, more and more Posts are able to transform into sustainable, modern and competitive enterprises in the new ecosystem.