UPU offering financial services to unserved populations

Digital financial service projects are to be rolled out by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to reach as many as 800,000 people and businesses Africa, Asia and the Pacific under its Financial Inclusion Technical Assistance Facility (FITAF) in 2019.

The postal operators in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kiribati, Nauru, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tonga and Vietnam would be the pilots for the programme, according to the UPU DG, Bishar A Hussein. The programme focuses on advancing financial inclusion and the digitisation of postal financial services.

Speaking at a panel session titled “Boosting financial inclusion through mobile money” during UNCTAD’s Africa eCommerce Week in Nairobi, Mr Hussein said the UPU was “acting concretely to develop digital finance through the Post on the ground to the benefits of the underserved populations and businesses.”

“We are building partnerships with international donors and the private sector to support the Posts in their digital journey,” added the Director General.

The World Bank believes that 1.7 billion adults still lack access to financial services, of which one billion are women. Postal services have 670,000 outlets that reach some of the world’s most remote places and the UPU believes that these can be used to tackle the problem.