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Postal financial services, development and inclusion: Building on the past and looking to the future

Gonzales d'Alcantara, Paul H. Dembinski and Odile Pilley

No 451, FSES Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland

Abstract: Post offices, inherited from the Industrial Revolution, were monolithic telephone and postal administrations. They were intimately linked to the fabric of nations and made significant contributions to state finances. From the 1960s onwards, integrators, such as UPS and FEDEX, started offering end-to-end express services, thus challenging the postal monopoly in new high added value services. Gradually, the liberalization paradigm gained ground. Telecommunications and sometimes financial services were spun off from postal operations. More recently, new policies and priorities started to emerge especially on the development agenda where financial inclusion has become a top priority in the developing world. The question to be addressed is which role, if any, the posts play or could play in ensuring inclusion. Despite an exceptionally scarce research in the field, this paper provides an overview of how these shifts in paradigm have affected postal policy, the postal financial services regulatory framework, the status of the organizations delivering those services and the offerings themselves in developing as well as in developed countries. After a research review, including the regulatory dimension, the paper focuses on how postal financial services institutions in their legal framework have developed bringing to the fore a panorama of a dozen of promising transformations of financial postal services in developing countries.

Keywords: development; financial inclusion; financial postal services; Universal Postal Union; telecommunications (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C65 H43 H55 Z18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his
Date: 2014-08-21
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