Year: 2007

China to create fifth largest bank from postal savings system

China has approved a plan to turn the nation’s huge postal savings system into a bank, which is set to become the nation’s fifth largest lender, the China Daily reported.

The approval for the China Postal Savings Bank to start operations was given by the China Banking Regulatory Commission, the newspaper said.

The bank will be wholly owned by the China Post Group, a 10 bln usd company formed out of the State Post Bureau, formally both the supervisor and a major player in postal services, the China Daily said, citing the commission.

‘China Postal Savings Bank will focus on developing retail and intermediary businesses, to offer basic financial services for residents,’ the newspaper quoted a statement of the commission as saying.

In 2005, there were more than 36,000 postal savings outlets across the country, with two thirds of them distributed in rural areas.

Post offices in China started postal savings services in 1986 but they could only accept deposits from the public and not offer loans, the report said.

The deposit balance of post savings recorded 1.3 trln yuan (166 bln usd) by the end of 2005, accounting for nearly 10 pct of China’s household savings.

The biggest four lenders in China are the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the China Construction Bank, the Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China.

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Deutsche Post sells waste disposal unit Vfw to Monitor Clipper Partners

Deutsche Post AG said it is selling its waste disposal unit Vfw AG to US-based private equity investor Monitor Clipper Partners for an undisclosed sum.

It said the deal, which is subject to antitrust clearance, is expected to be closed in the first quarter of 2007.

It added that Vfw is currently setting up its own recycling system as an alternative to the ‘Green Dot’ of former monopolist Duales System Deutschland GmbH.

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DPD Lithuania to deliver parcels to EU newcomers

DPD Lietuva, the Lithuanian express parcel delivery company, will ship parcels to the European Union (EU) newcomers Bulgaria and Romania starting from 2007.

DPD network has become the first European parcel operator to launch the delivery of parcels by roads to these countries, DPD Lietuva has said in a statement.

Parcels from Vilnius to Bucharest and Sofia would be delivered in five and six business days, respectively, said Gintaras Bingelis, DPD Lietuva sales and marketing director for the Baltic countries. In Bulgaria and Romania, the parcels will be delivered by GeoPost Bulgaria and GeoPost Cargus.

DPD Lietuva currently offers parcel delivery services to 23 European Union (EU) Member States and from 18 EU Members.

Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU on Jan. 1.

DPD Lietuva offers a parcel delivery service DPD/Bizpak. The company posted 27.6 million litas (EUR 8 mln) in sales for full 2005, a surge of 39 percent versus the year-earlier figure.

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Increased benefits for UK business mail customers from 2007 postage prices

Two new products and enhancements to existing services, aimed at business customers and large volume mailers, will be introduced on 2 April 2007, Royal Mail announced today. These are part of the changes to postage prices that will come into effect next year in line with the four-year price control set by postal regulator Postcomm in March 2006.

One of the new products is Automated Standard Tariff Large Letter. This offers business customers sending a minimum of 250 large letter-sized items that can be machine sorted discounts of between six to nine per cent.

Another new product – Cleanmail Advance – will offer easier access to discounts for customers sending more than 1,000 items with correct and machine readable addresses.
Royal Mail is also introducing enhanced volume-related discounts for some of its Mailsort business mail services. These include more volume-related thresholds that attract a discount, and a lowering of the minimum threshold, to enable a larger number of smaller mailers to qualify for a discount.

Prices will continue to decrease for heavier weight items, which will support the growth of the online retail market.

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WASEL postal service was initiated in Jeddah city

WASAL” postal service was initiated in Jeddah city, after completing the addressing operation and establish the service in several residential area as the campaign aims at establishing 600,000 thousand boxes. A comprehensive survey for all Jeddah city area is being done along with the preparation of the required infrastructure for activating the service.

Dr.Talal Abdulmalik Radin, the Director General of the project stated that the primary stages of the project had been completed along with the comprehensive survey of all part of Jeddah city, installation of WASAL mail boxes, making the final touches and arrangement to activate the WASAL service in some area during the forthcoming stages.

Rayyan Itanbathathah , Manager of subscription administration explained that the subscriber can receive his/her premium , registered mail and post parcels on his/her new box and he able to shift his correspondence from his old mail box to the new one and he can send his own correspondence via the incoming box existing next to the service box. The addressing & the establishment of the postal service project aims at installing more than 250,000 post boxes in Jeddah city since triggering the project. Subscription in the new post service “WASAL” in Jeddah city was made in the university Avenue center through subscription responsible and the key of the new box was delivered in the Headquarters of the Itihad Altakamal Company for the executing company of the addressing and establishing the postal service project.

It is worthy noting that the Saudi post has released the tracking services of the premium mail which shall be available for the customers of the Saudi Post , whether they are citizens or expatriates and they can track the course of their shipments via the corporation’ website on the internet or by utilizing the automated sound answer system . This service shall enable the customers identify place, time and date of procedures done to their shipments from the point of origin to the destination point. This service has been released as an implementation of the strategy of the Saudi post towards becoming a digital corporation.

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Case study: Pension products in South Africa

Interview with Mrs. Totsie Memela Khambule, Managing Director of the South Africa Postbank.

Q: Could you describe the role of South Africa PostBank with regards to channelling domestic financial resources in your country?

A: The role of South Africa PostBank is to provide access to the underserved markets in our country, which are estimated to represent 13 million people. Our institution also inculcates a culture of savings to all South African communities. Moreover, the South Africa Postbank (SAPO) extends access to government departments by supporting government initiatives that provide financial services but do not have their own retail network to reach the communities. We are committed to becoming a provider of choice for government services. To contribute to the social and economic development of our economy is key for us.

Q: Why address pensioners in a relatively young country such as South Africa? Do you plan to extend the Pension FlexiCard project to other customer segments?

A: The South African government currently provides pensions and social grants to 11.4 million people for a total value of ZAR 4.6 billion per month (approx 0.6 billion USD). The majority of these beneficiaries are paid in cash. The government objective is to have within a number of five years 50% of the population banked.

We believe we have a platform and the facilities to serve this market. The other objective is to reduce the cost of banking for the beneficiaries by enabling them to access debit cards which can be used in retail points of sale. The Pension Flexi Card offered by Postbank, currently targeted to the pensioners market, can be extended to other social grant beneficiaries.

Q: What have been the considerations behind the implementation of biometric technology?

A: The main consideration leading to the development of SAPO’s Biometric Solution was to offer a competitive pension/social grant payment solution that was secure, affordable and supportive to the government’s objective of increasing access to finance for the unbanked. At the time, SAPO was losing pension customers to the competitors who already had biometric based payment solutions and the decision to invest was based on a strategic move to regain market share.

The initial project was concluded within 50 days and the cost to implement the system at 118 post office branches was ZAR 11,8 million (approx. 1.6 million USD). Apart from the technological challenges that had to be tackled (such as the use of satellite technology and the use of smart card encryption technology), the biometric solution also had to guarantee customer choice. This is why we opted for an open-system approach that allowed the beneficiary to choose how and when payments are made.

Contact: [email protected] or [email protected]

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