UPU-AFI Workshop on Financial Inclusion and Postal Banking
This paper reports on a workshop held by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) on November 9-10, 2009. UPU invited international stakeholders from the postal and financial systems to discuss financial inclusion and postal banking. Funded by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), the conference invited representatives from about 60 industrialized and developing countries to present innovative approaches to financial inclusion through Posts. It emphasized that Posts had already provided financial access to the disadvantaged, with over one billion poorest people having already visited one of about 660,000 post offices around the world to make payments, money transfers, receive pensions and deposit savings. The Director of UPU called on Posts to step out of their marginalized role in financial inclusion policies, and capitalize on their network and trust accorded to them by the public. Finally, to increase financial inclusion, the workshop recommended that Posts should:
- Use their potential to bring financially excluded segments back into the fold;
- Identify viable business models;
- Adapt internal structures;
- Educate the community;
- Continue dialogue among stakeholders;
- Foster research on best practices.