Like many countries, Congo has grappled with the question of what to do with a postal service that has been sidelined by technology.
“We decided we didn’t need to rehabilitate the postal service of 30 years ago; we needed to give the postal service a place in the information and communications technology system,” says Congo’s Post and Telecommunications Minister, Thierry Lezin Moungalla.
In January 2013, the Postal Bank of Congo was set up. Its aim is to give people in remote areas and the poor something they don’t have right now – access to banking services.
Banks are thin on the ground outside of Congo’s large cities, while post offices are nearly everywhere. And where banks tend to prefer wealthy and commercial clients to the middle classes and the poor, who have limited finances, the Postal Bank welcomes everyone. It also provides the less well-off with tailor-made financial services, such as micro-loans.
“Wherever we can have a Postal Bank, we will have one, because we must work toward the financial inclusion of all of our compatriots,” says Mr. Moungalla, calling post offices that provide banking services the wave of the future.