A new report published by the UPU shows how Posts are gaining customers’ trust to provide financial inclusion through the postal network.
Posts have been providing financial services for more than a century, today serving 1 billion customers holding nearly 2 billion accounts.
Modern-day Posts are starting to provide digital financial services (DFS) for their customers as more of the world moves to online and mobile channels for service delivery. However, as with any new technology, some customers are cautious to adopt digital financial services and continue to opt for cash.
A new report published by UPU’s Financial Inclusion Technical Assistance Facility (FITAF), and titled “In Post We Trust”, suggests increased trust in the Post can encourage the uptake of digital finance through the postal network. It identifies four measures to increase trust in Posts.
1)Leverage the postal brand: Thanks to their engagement with the community, Posts in certain countries have established a high level of trust with their customers. To improve the uptake of financial services, Posts should tap into the trust capital that they have built up over the years.
2)Offer financial, numerical and digital literacy skills to customers: Posts can build trust by providing their customers with a clear understanding of the financial products and services offered to them. This is especially important for customers with limited financial assets, limited literacy or numeracy skills, and a lack of familiarity with technology.
3)Ensure that Post-customer interaction is secure, simple and seamless: Posts should provide simple, robust and interoperable solutions to simplify the customer’s experience.
4)Provide access to real people: Providing easy access to human interaction at the post office and on the customer’s doorstep are critical factors that help to build trust in postal financial institutions. Posts can leverage their vast network, which includes rural and remote areas, to build stronger bonds of trust with customers than traditional financial institutions.
The report explores how Posts are already leveraging these trust-building measures to increase the uptake of financial service, particularly digital financial services.
The research shows that Posts already enjoying a high level of trust with their customers can strengthen that trust by offering citizen-centric government-to-person (G2P) services. In the case of Egypt, the Post delivers a range of G2P payments and includes a large proportion of the countries low-income population in its customer base.
Posts are also investing in their customers by providing financial literacy training to foster financial inclusion. Poste Italiane, for example, collaborates with the Italian Ministry of Education to provide financial literacy training to the nation’s youth, preparing them to manage their finances in adulthood.
Finally, the research shows that by leveraging the reach and strength of their network, Posts are including communities that are unreached by traditional financial institutions. This contact builds trust with underserved customers, increasing their uptake of postal financial services.