Out of 1.5 billion users of postal financial services in the world, only 400 millions are holders of a postal (bank) account, 300 millions of which located in developing or emerging countries. As of today, more than 2 billion adults remain un-banked, mostly in developing and emerging countries, although under-banked citizens are also a concern in more advanced economies. Have Posts started to bridge this financial access divide that often exists between better and less well-off populations? Our paper suggests this has become the case in an increasing number of developing and emerging countries. They are following a path historically initiated and recently highlighted in the activities of some postal operators in today’s high income economies.
The incentives to do so are powerful for the Posts in an environment where structural declines in mail volumes have weakened the economic viability of traditional postal business models around the world during the last decade. The recent global economic and financial crisis (2007-9) has further deteriorated the conditions in mail markets, with postal operators losing up to 20% of their mail traffic during this two-year economic downturn, and forecasting losses of 30% over the next decade that could leave the industry with large excess capacities.
Download the presentation of the paper at the 18th Rutgers Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics (2-5 June 2010).