31 August 2016
Find out more

UN urges central banks to allow postal services to issue e-money

05 October 2012  |  6316 views  |  0 Dollar note jigsaw

Central banks should make sure that postal operators can issue electronic money so that they can offer mobile financial services and help bank the unbanked, according to a report from a United Nations agency.

The UN Universal Postal Union (UPU) says that with more than 660,000 outlets throughout the world, and significantly larger networks than banks in many developing countries, postal services can play a major role in boosting financial inclusion.

More than one billion people in 51 countries already avail themselves of postal banking services - adding up to some $1.6 billion in savings and deposit accounts - but, the report says, this can be significantly improved upon.

To do this, the right legal and regulatory framework needs to be put in place, with central banks in charge. The report advocates the use of 'light' banking licenses for postal operators that offer savings products but not loans, and the ability to open accounts on behalf of banks.

Although their physical networks are their major strength, the UN UPU also wants to help postal services offer mobile-based banking and payments. This requires central banks to ensure that their e-money framework allow posts to participate, as has happened with postal giro centres in West Africa, under the 2006 directive from the regional central bank.

In addition, in order to provide financial services directly and more affordably, without having to go through a settlement bank, and thus to be able to compete on an equal footing, postal operators should be allowed to have direct access to national retail payment systems, says the report.

Alexandre Berthaud, report authors, says: "If only 51 Posts offering savings accounts can bank a billion people, then the remaining postal operators of the UPU's 192 member countries, especially strongly populated ones such as Nigeria, Russia, Mexico, Ethiopia and Colombia, could easily provide a gateway to financially include at least 500 million unbanked people directly or through partnerships with banks."

Read the report here:

» Download the document now 3.6 mb (PDF File)

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

HSBC customers to get account access at Post Office branches

HSBC customers to get account access at Post Office branches

17 September 2012  |  5421 views  |  1 comments
75% of world's poor unbanked but mobile phones revolutionising access

75% of world's poor unbanked but mobile phones revolutionising access

20 April 2012  |  9898 views  |  1 comments
Mobiles to bank the unbanked

Mobiles to bank the unbanked

28 June 2011  |  8997 views  |  0 comments
UK government outlines plans for Post Office 'people's bank'

UK government outlines plans for Post Office 'people's bank'

29 March 2010  |  9021 views  |  3 comments
Diebold reports China post office deal

Diebold reports China post office deal

15 September 2006  |  4169 views  |  0 comments
Irish Post Office signs MoU with Fortis for financial services JV

Irish Post Office signs MoU with Fortis for financial services JV

13 April 2006  |  6494 views  |  0 comments

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
Find out moreVisit www.abe-eba.euVisit capgemini.com

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
India's Unified Payments Interface goes live with 21 banksIndia's Unified Payments Interface goes li...
9848 views comments | 23 tweets | 26 linkedin
Cultural change crucial in digital transformationCultural change crucial in digital transfo...
7513 views comments | 11 tweets | 10 linkedin
Mondo becomes MonzoMondo becomes Monzo
6688 views comments | 14 tweets | 9 linkedin
hands typing furiouslyBlockchain: Some Remarkable Announcements!
6611 views 0 | 5 tweets | 15 linkedin
Global Fintech Hubs Federation launchesGlobal Fintech Hubs Federation launches
5853 views comments | 19 tweets | 5 linkedin

Featured job

Find your next job