ITU Blog: The power of Posts in delivering digital financial services
The postal system is a communication network of extraordinary proportions. There are over 660,000 post offices worldwide, the majority of them in rural areas, and each year the postal system handles traffic of over 330 billion letters and 670 million parcels. There are few places out of its reach and few people on earth without access to a post office, and it’s this proximity to clients that suits the postal system to the provision of financial services.
Postal banks boast a long history of success – the first being established in Great Britain in 1861 – and they are still the means through which millions of people worldwide have access to financial services.
Posts have an abundance of experience in providing cash-in, cash-out services, and they can generally be relied upon to have cash-management expertise. Posts’ experience in financial transactions (particularly domestic and international remittances), trusted brand image and proven capabilities in operating large-volume, small-margin commercial services make them particularly well-suited to the offer of digital financial services (DFS).
Posts provide numerous case studies of digital finance’s enabling factors. At the Universal Postal Union (UPU), we have identified five primary business models through which Posts engage in DFS.
Read the full text authored by David Avsec, Deputy Director of the UPU’s Postal Technology Centre.