Tuesday 7 September 2021

New UPU study to help redefine the organization’s role in postal financial services

A new study entitled Postal Financial Services Vision 2030 is to be undertaken by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to review, reassess and redefine its role and position in the postal financial services (PFS) sector, as well as its relations with posts, policymakers and regulators.

The study, which is currently in the planning stage, will be undertaken over a six-month period. Sergey Dukelskiy, Coordinator of PFS and Financial Inclusion at the UPU, commented, “Through this study, the UPU wishes to assess the relevance and effectiveness of its treaty framework and supporting functions in relation to postal payment services and, in more general terms, postal financial services.”

The study has five main goals. First it will assess the nature of PFS, including postal payment services, offered in UPU member countries in the context of prevailing market trends and public policy objectives, including, but not limited to, financial inclusion, e-commerce development, small and medium-sized enterprise growth and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“The study will also identify the key regulatory challenges faced by posts in the provision of PFS, identify potential areas where the UPU can support posts in the provision of PFS, and identify any shortcomings associated with the UPU’s current treaty framework as it pertains to PFS, as well as the UPU’s associated PFS activities,” Dukelskiy added.

The final goal of the study is to prepare policy and strategy recommendations for the UPU to update its current PFS treaty framework and associated support services and to offer market-relevant PFS to the benefit of Union member countries and their designated postal operators.

Another point to address in the coming cycle, according to Dukelskiy, is anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism.

Currently, according to the Postal Payment Services Agreement (PPSA), which regulates Postal Payment Services (PPS), signatories are responsible for anti-money laundering and countering terrorism financing checks, both issued or paid-out.

“Nowadays with the development of electronic postal payments and digital financial services at a global scale, operators have to pay more attention to the security of the transactions they are responsible for,” Dukelskiy explained. “In order to respond to the regulatory obligations, the UPU’s Acts need to evolve as well and provide clear guidance to posts and their partners. UPU, through the Postal Technology Center, as a provider of PFS systems, needs to provide necessary tools to the users of those systems.”

Dukelskiy concludes, “The study will help the UPU to engage its stakeholders and broader financial system partners in an innovation-focused discussion and formulate clear policy recommendations to strengthen the UPU’s role in the PFS sector, enabling the UPU to provide relevant support to its member countries and their designated postal operators in that regard.”

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