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About The Universal Postal Union

Focus: GS III: Indian Economy

Why in News?

The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has announced plans to evaluate the integration of the Unified Payment Interface (UPI) with cross-border remittances using the global postal network.

Benefits of Integrating UPI with UPU:

  • Secure and Real-time Remittances: UPI provides a secure and convenient platform for cross-border remittances, offering a real-time payment experience for users.
  • Leveraging Global Postal Network: By integrating UPI with the extensive reach and infrastructure of the global postal network, the reach of UPI-enabled remittances can be expanded significantly.
  • Accessibility in Remote Areas: This integration can offer a reliable and accessible remittance solution for individuals, especially in remote areas where traditional banking services may be limited.
  • Promoting Inclusive Postal Services: This initiative aligns with UPU’s goal of promoting efficient and inclusive postal services globally, ensuring that more people have access to affordable financial services.

About Universal Postal Union (UPU):

Establishment and Structure:

  • The UPU was established in 1874 through the Treaty of Bern. It is a United Nations specialized agency and the primary forum for international cooperation in the postal sector.
  • The organization is headquartered in Bern, Switzerland, and consists of four bodies: Congress, the Council of Administration (CA), the Postal Operations Council (POC), and the International Bureau (IB).


  • Any member country of the United Nations can become a member of the UPU. Non-member countries can join if approved by at least two-thirds of the member countries.
  • Currently, the UPU has 192 member countries, and India joined in 1876.

Role and Functions:

  • The UPU coordinates postal policies among member nations and the global postal system.
  • It sets rules for international mail exchanges and makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail, parcel, and financial services volumes.
  • The UPU aims to improve the quality of service for customers and promote efficiency in international postal operations.
  • It also oversees the Telematics and Express Mail Service (EMS) cooperatives.

December 2023