World Post Day is celebrated this week, raising awareness of the role of the postal sector in people's and businesses' everyday lives. With the decline of letter-post volumes, financial services offer new growth opportunities for postal services, and they are gaining ground as Posts consider strategies to diversify the business.
Fifty-one postal operators worldwide held 1.6 billion savings and deposit accounts in 2010. With the average postal client holding an estimated 1.5 accounts, this brings the number of people banked through the Post to more than one billion, according to the research presented at the 25th Universal Postal Congress in Doha.
With 660,000 contact points in the world, Posts and their financial subsidiaries come only second to banks in their potential to contribute to financial inclusion. There are 523,000 bank branches and ATMs in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund.
The report recalls that several hundred million people also use the Post to make and receive domestic and international transfers or pay government or utility bills, whether or not they hold a postal savings account.
Source: UPU News - Posts must exploit untapped potential for financial inclusion
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