Can Postal Networks Advance Financial Inclusion in the Arab World?
This CGAP Brief highlights the potential of postal networks to deliver financial services in the Arab World. It states that Arab postal networks have the potential to act as powerful tools in financial inclusion because they are trusted institutions with large branch networks reaching rural areas. The Arab World, however, has not yet capitalized on the potential of its postal networks, despite demographic trends that highlight the need for financial access. The Brief states that Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen are in the process of reforming their postal networks. It also notes that transforming Arab postal networks into full-fledged, financially inclusive service providers will require the government to commit to providing a clear financial inclusion mandate, work with donors to build capacity, and upgrade management information systems. Recommendations highlight the need for:
- Careful planning and substantial additional investment;
- Countries to specify their objectives, and consider the pros and cons of different models;
- Donors and governments to help equip financial service entities with hardware and software training as well as institution building.