The Universal Postal Union (UPU), an agency of the United Nations has officially rolled out a digital financial service project targeted to reach around 800,000 people across Africa, Asia, and the Pacific under its Financial Inclusion Technical Assistance Facility (FITAF) in 2019.
This was born out of a need to reduce the number of people still unbanked around the globe, with data showing 31% of adults are not financially included in the world economy. Data also shows that Africa, contributes 17 % to the total number of unbanked adults around the world, with Asia and Pacific accounting for 38% of unbanked adults.
Towards providing financial inclusion for these unbanked adults, UPU would first launch this programme in Benin, C?te d Ivoire, Ghana, Rwanda, while also focusing on the digitalization of postal financial services.
African countries selected for the programme launch are countries in which their rates of financial exclusion need immediate intervention, with only 48% Ghanian adult being financially included, 37% in Rwanda, and 20% in Benin.
To arrest the situation, UPU would provide more than 670,000 outlets, reaching some of the most remote areas in these countries to expand financial inclusion with FITAF building capacity to offer the digital financial services.
The projects announced will help postal operators set up mobile financial solutions for payments, savings, insurance, and other services, so as to understand and explore the opportunities in digital finance. Through FITAF, the UPU aims to implement 20 innovative digital postal financial services projects by the end of 2020.