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.
The UPU also provides its member countries with technical assistance to improve their contribution to financial inclusion at the national level. With support from Visa Inc. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UPU has been able to establish a new Financial Inclusion Technical Assistance Facility (FITAF) to champion postal action on inclusive digital financial services, conduct research to identify key actions, and provide qualifying Posts with technical assistance to improve and expand their capabilities. Check out the “FITAF” section for more information.
The UPU works with its members and various international organizations to better understand the contribution of postal networks to financial inclusion. The UPU’s financial inclusion research includes collaboration with the World Bank, UN Women, the International Telecommunication Union and the International Labour Organization.
This report establishes a panorama of postal financial inclusion and presents, for the very first time, the current status of this dimension in financial inclusion.
Based on a questionnaire answered by 123 UPU member countries and the concrete lessons drawn from field missions, the report aims to bridge both the information and awareness gaps on the role of Posts in financial inclusion by providing statistical information on postal operators. It is intended for governments, postal operators and development partners alike, and is an important tool in the fight against financial exclusion.