Over the last years, the advent of new technologies and data have made it more possible for financial institutions, primarily mobile network operators (MNOs), to offer their services to low-income populations. With more than two billions accounts, Posts have traditionally been a strong financial inclusion actor leveraging their vast physical network, proximity to populations and long experience in the provision of financial services. In order for Posts to increase their financial inclusion footprint and remain relevant, efficient and impactful, for both individuals and businesses, they will need to embrace digital more rapidly. The UPU, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and VISA, has established in 2017 the Financial Inclusion Technical Assistance Facility (FITAF). The aim of the programme is to support posts in:
• Improving the performance of current postal financial services, with a particular focus on the adoption of the latest technologies to promote efficiency and outreach;
• Stimulate and support business transformation processes (e.g. creation of new products, development of partnerships, design, and implementation of new business models).
FITAF will provide technical assistance for up to $150,000 to 20 posts in transitioning and emerging countries by 2020 according to the following criteria:
• Commitment from the post’s management and respective national government;
• Existence of a legal and regulatory framework to enable the designated post to deliver financial services, including digital financial services;
• Evidence of innovation;
• Impacts on financial inclusion;
• Engagement of the post to co-fund 20 percent of total costs.
Supported projects are divided in 5 categories:
• Digitization of postal operations;
• Assistance to a Post in offering its own DFS;
• Assistance to a Post in offering DFS in partnership with another institution;
• Improvement of existing DFS;
• Support for the development of a digital ecosystem (with the Post as an agent).
Countries can apply for assistance through the UPU’s call for projects.
Programme in a nutshell
Year of creation
Type of business
Bill and Melinda Gates FoundationVisa Inc.
Number of activities carried out