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Diplomacy in Action

Proposed Amendments to Proposal 54

July 16, 2012


Amendment by United States of America



Development of postal financial services


In view of

the encouraging results of the implementation of several projects undertaken within the framework of resolu­tion C 74/2008 of the 24th Congress on postal financial services,


– that the provision of basic postal financial services through the post office network contributes signifi­cantly to global financial inclusion and economic and social development, and plays an important role in improving living standards;

– that the postal network, with its worldwide coverage and the combination of electronic, financial and physical dimensions, ensures that all citizens of the world have access to electronic payment services and, more generally, to efficient, reliable, secure and affordable financial services;

– that postal financial services play an important role in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, notably combating poverty, particularly as a result of their presence in rural areas;

– that the postal network facilitates the development of small and medium-sized companies at local and international levels;

– that the development of electronic postal payment services and postal financial services is particularly suited to cooperation with a growing number of international organizations,


– that significant progress has been made in the expansion of the UPU worldwide electronic postal pay­ment services network since the 24th UPU Congress;

– the benefits of postal financial services for designated operators, particularly in the form of increased revenue, adding to the viability of the postal network;

– that today's world market is undergoing rapid and profound change and that users are demanding a speedy, secure and high-quality service;

– the important contribution to economic stability made by postal financial services in a number of coun­tries during the 2008−2009 economic crisis;

– that the current financial crisis shows that populations in different countries around the world are seek­ing alternative ways of ensuring the security of their savings and international payments,

Also noting

– that the use of computerized data exchange systems, such as the UPU's IFS, enables postal payment orders transmitted in paper format or sent by telegraph or telex to be replaced with postal orders transmitted by the UPU electronic network, including urgent and ordinary cash–cash, cash–account, account–cash and account–account payments;

– that the postal network of member countries can also be used to provide account-based postal finan­cial services, in particular to facilitate financial inclusion in rural areas, as long as any financial services provided by designated operators are subject to relevant international financial standards as applica­ble and in accordance with designated operators' national legislation or appropriate national regulatory authority, and also provided that operations are conducted in a manner that encourages a level playing field for all providers of financial services;


- the UPU's need to continue and reinforce its work on developing postal payment services and facilitating access to postal financial services worldwide,

- The ongoing work of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development on competitive neutrality which seeks to ensure that no entity operating in a market is subject to undue competitive advantages or disadvantages, and that private-sector operators face the same set of rules and have the same potential for providing financial services as state-owned providers of postal payment services;


the Council of Administration:

– to ensure an ongoing dialogue with monetary policy, financial regulation and financial inclusion play­ers, such as central banks and financial regulation authorities, and financial standardization bodies (Financial Action Task Force, Bank for International Settlements, etc.);

– to encourage UPU cooperation with international cooperation players, such as the World Bank, the regional development banks, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, the International Labour Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the International Organization for Migration, the World Savings Banks Institute, national cooperation agencies and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to support development of the postal payment network and promote financial inclu­sion;

– to urge member countries to give priority to the development of postal financial services and the neces­sary national infrastructure in a manner that encourages a level playing field for all providers of financial services,

Also instructs

the Postal Operations Council:

– to contribute to the development and diversification of financial services available to customers through designated operators in order to meet the needs of a changing environment;

– to encourage member countries and designated operators to develop efficient, reliable, secure and affordable electronic postal payment services;

– to facilitate an increase in the number of access points in the electronic postal payment services net­work;

– to improve the security of services by promoting the fight against money laundering and terrorist financ­ing, in line with Financial Action Task Force recommendations;

– to encourage the development of the UPU electronic data interchange system (EDI);

– to modernize electronic postal payment services through new technologies (mobile telephones, etc.);

– to promote the use of postal payment services in the area of e-commerce by developing supplemen­tary services, such as cash-on-delivery services and urgent services;

– to continue developing the multilateral framework of postal payment services (multilateral framework agreement, electronic compendium and other tools);

– to create technical and quality of service standards for electronic postal payment services;

– to strengthen and promote cooperation with partners from the public and private sectors with a view to developing the UPU worldwide electronic postal payment network, and promoting its connection to other networks;

– to manage the development of the UPU worldwide electronic postal payment services network (includ­ing the multilateral agreement and the collective trademark);

– to encourage designated operators to carry out actions to market and promote electronic postal pay­ment services;

– to develop a quality-linked remuneration system for postal payment services.

– to facilitate the introduction of account-based postal financial services (savings services, etc.) in Union member countries;

– to promote the provision of postal financial services directly by designated operators or in partnership with banks, microfinance institutions or mobile telephone operators, with a view to promoting the financial inclusion of populations;

– to provide UPU member countries, their central banks and their regulators as well as their designated operators with information and advice on postal financial services, particularly as they relate to finan­cial inclusion,

Further instructs

the International Bureau:

– to assist the Councils in executing the tasks decided by Congress;


Union member countries:

– to accede to the Postal Payment Services Agreement;

– to take the measures needed to develop electronic postal payment services;

– to take the measures needed to facilitate access to other postal financial services, as long as any financial services provided by designated operators are subject to relevant international financial standards as applicable and in accordance with designated operators' national legislation or appropri­ate national regulatory authority, and also provided that operations are conducted in a manner that encourages a level playing field for all providers of financial services;

designated operators:

– to carry out actions aimed at satisfying the requirements of the international payments market and other financial services;

– to use the collective trademark and quality standards for UPU electronic postal payment services.

Reasons. –The global postal network contributes to financial inclusion, improved living standards, and broader economic and social development through the provision of basic financial services, often serving a need where no market exists. This work must be conducted within a regulatory framework that allows for both existing and potential private-sector financial service providers to operate under the same rules if an economy is to grow to its maximum potential. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released an initial report at the May 2012 Ministerial, “Competitive Neutrality: Maintaining a Level Playing Field Between Public and Private Business” which was welcomed by Ministers and which identifies key elements for ensuring that government-provided services are adequately compensated for the public service they provide, yet offer equal market opportunity to private competitors. As OECD guidelines for competitive neutrality are still being developed, this is the first opportunity to propose relevant amendments to this Resolution.

See also Congress–Docs 26 and 26.Add 1, as well as proposal 52 ("Creation of a UPU worldwide clearing and settlement system for postal payment services"), proposal 53 ("Management and development of the UPU worldwide electronic postal payment services network") and proposal 55 ("Development of UPU regulations on postal accounts").

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