Paper

Global Panorama on Postal Financial Inclusion 2016

A call for postal networks to digitize to address the challenges of financial inclusion

Posts own one of the largest physical networks in the world with 661,000 post offices worldwide – and an additional 1.4 million postmen going door-to-door daily – i.e. a potential of 2 million contact points. To be able to sustainably cater to the needs of excluded, low-income populations, however, Posts need to provide financial services at scale and at minimal costs. The study reveals that 91% of Posts worldwide offer some form of financial services, either on their own or in partnership with other financial institutions. A total of 1.5 billion people globally – or 28% of the world's adult population – access services such as remittances, government payments, insurance, current accounts, savings, or loans, through a postal channel. Among these, 1 billion people hold a current or savings account with a Post.

This study, using data provided by 161 postal operators, puts forward the different business models that have been adopted to deploy digital financial services and calls postal operators that have not fully digitized their operations to do so urgently, or risk being completely marginalized as financial service providers. In addition, the study presents the various models adopted by the 52 Posts worldwide that have already started offering their financial services through a mobile platform.