UPU, AXA collaborate for inclusive insurance through postal networks

Move aims to extend financial inclusion on a global scale

UPU, AXA collaborate for inclusive insurance through postal networks

Diversity & Inclusion

By Kenneth Araullo

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has teamed up with AXA to enhance the role of postal networks in providing inclusive insurance.

This partnership aims to extend financial inclusion globally, leveraging the trust and reach of postal networks, which currently enable over a quarter of the world's adult population to access formal financial services through their local post offices.

Postal networks, which traditionally focused on payments and savings, are increasingly turning towards insurance, which has seen growth in interest and adoption. In 2021, 53% of postal operators offered insurance products, a significant increase from 38% in 2016.

AXA, through its AXA Emerging Customers unit, targets the delivery of affordable and accessible insurance solutions to low and middle-income individuals and micro-businesses. Initially concentrated in emerging markets, this initiative is now expanding into Europe, aiming to address the socio-economic challenges faced by these demographic groups.

Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA, emphasised the strategic intent of the collaboration with the UPU.

“Inclusive insurance is at the heart of AXA’s new #UnlockTheFuture strategic plan, with an ambition to protect over 20 million customers around the world by 2026,” Buberl said. “Through this partnership with the Universal Postal Union, AXA reiterates its solid commitment to push the boundaries of insurance to better protect all.”

Masahiko Metoki, director general of the Universal Postal Union, also highlighted the timing and potential impact of this alliance.

“This collaboration with AXA comes at a pivotal moment for the UPU as we work more closely with private sector partners to exchange knowledge, innovate, and ensure that postal financial services become more inclusive to meet the needs of customers. Capitalising on the UPU’s expansive network of postal operators and AXA’s expertise, this partnership helps lay the groundwork for a flourishing and inclusive postal insurance sector,” Metoki said.

AXA-UPU partnership

The collaboration will kick off in Q2 2024 with a research program aimed at identifying and showcasing successful postal insurance models worldwide. This initiative will provide valuable insights and best practices to postal operators and insurers.

Following the research phase, the partnership will focus on establishing the Postal Insurance Technical Assistance Facility (PITAF). This facility will support local postal operators technically and financially, helping them to offer, expand, or diversify inclusive insurance schemes.

Garance Wattez-Richard, CEO of AXA Emerging Customers, noted the strategic positioning of postal networks in this initiative.

“AXA strongly believes that Posts are ideally positioned to catalyse accessible, attractive, and affordable protection to underserved low-to-middle income individuals and small businesses. This collaboration with UPU is a new brick in AXA’s ambition to join forces on inclusive insurance with Posts worldwide,” Wattez-Richard said.

As for other recent partnerships, AXA also announced a collaboration with digital platform Aurora for the launch of the latter’s second specialist product, the Management Liability Policy (MLP).

What are your thoughts on this story? Please feel free to share your comments below.


Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!