Guest contribution by Hans Boon
Next week kicks off with a conference on development of Postal Financial Services in Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou. Organized by PAPU, the conference brings together operators, investors, regulators and policy makers from more than 60 countries and international institutions. It is a convincing sign that worldwide interest in Postal Financial Inclusion is rapidly increasing.
This is consistent with the news observed in January 2011. New initiatives progress in Algeria [set up of Postbank], Tanzania [Mobile Money partnership], South Africa [Postbank to be licensed and entering competiton] and Albania [all rural post offices broadband connected for on-line payments], India [debit card partnerships] .
Success in competition is demonstrated by Postal banks in Poland [lead positions for micro enterprises and seniors], Czech republic [2nd most client friendly bank], Bulgaria [best CEO and HR Manager] and Bosnia [attractive to foreign investment].
Perhaps no one really likes to do it: paying taxes. But if needed, the post office appears as the most preferred place in e.g. Indonesia, Russia and Brazil– proximity, long opening hours, trust through simplicity and reliability are key factors in the success.
The issue # 4 of “Post Financial Times” presents more details on the above; much of the news is based on interviews and news clippings from local sources in more than 10 different languages. With more international events on the agenda for 2011 , the news from the “field” signals a rich basis for exchange of experiences and information as an input for international cooperation.