Day 1: Tuesday, 19 January 2016


Many people living in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have no access to financial services. For instance, about 70% of MENA countries have less than 50% of the population holding an account with a formal financial institution.

Financial inclusion is a key issue for the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) and it has very specialized skills in this field. This has been witnessed by several activities and initiatives on the role of savings and retail banks in promoting financial inclusion to the disadvantaged masses.

In this context, WSBI in partnership with its Moroccan member Al Barid Bank, a subsidiary of Barid Al Magrhib Group (Moroccan Post) organizes a conference on financial inclusion in Marrakech on 19th January 2016. The goal is to discuss how to activate and retain the disadvantaged mass market so that it can be leveraged for economic development.

There will be a focus on policy initiatives and financial inclusion strategies, as well as on partnership models and payment infrastructures implemented to drive financial inclusion strategies.

Furthermore, this meeting will also be an opportunity to formalize the creation of the MENA subgroup as part of the WSBI development strategy.

The main purpose of the conference is to foster the emergence of an enabling environment, so that banks and financial institutions can develop financial services at acceptable risk and cost levels.

08:30 – 09:00 Registration 

09:00 – 10:00 Opening 

  • Mr Benjelloun, Director General of Group Poste du Maroc
  • Mr Najm Eddine, President and Chief Executive Officer, Al Barid Bank
  • Mr Chris De Noose Managing Director, WSBI
  • Keynote speeches by Mr Jaloul Ayed, Former Minister of Finance of Tunisia and President of MED Confederation (Organization for Promotion of Cooperation, Economic Integration, Social Progress and Culture between the countries bordering the Mediterranean sea)

10:00-13:00 Debate Session

​10:00-11:10 Policy initiatives and financial inclusion strategies

Most countries in the MENA region have taken steps to improve financial inclusion. This collective awareness is reflected in the recommendations of the Arab Policy Forum 2014 "Arab countries must make their societies more inclusive and more citizen financial systems should not be an exception". However, there is still much to be done to develop an enabling environment to promote access to finance.

This session aims to discuss the financial inclusion policies and strategies implemented in order to have a regulatory environment that balances the needs of promoting access to finance and the stability of the financial system.

Moderator: Mr Chris De Noose Managing Director, WSBI


  • Mr Abderrahim Bouazza, Bank Al Maghrib  Director General (Central Bank of Morocco) (tbc)

  • Mr Al-Bagdadi Hayder, Regional Financial Inclusion Program Manager, GIZ

  • Mme Margarete O. Biallas , Senior Mobile Financial Services Specialist, International Finance Coorporation

  • Ms Nadine Chehade, Regional Representative for Middle East North Africa Region (MENA), Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)

11:10-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:15 Partnership in Financial Inclusion:

A comprehensive approach to financial inclusion should take into account interaction with key stakeholders including actors from the private and public sector. This session will showcase the Al Barid bank business models of government transfers Minhaty initiative, and the banking services for youth (18-25 years) Tawfir Al Ghad.  


  • Ms Zakia Hazzaz, Head of Institutional Relationship, Al Barid Bank Morocco
  • M. Driss Bouami, Ministry of National Education
  • Ms Aida Ksikes, Head of Marketing, Al Barid Bank Morocco
  • Ms Mariam Guyer, Silatech - Quatar

12:15-13:00 Partnerships and innovative payment systems

Payment systems have a leading role in economic activity because they enable agents to transact at safe and reasonable costs.

The debate in this session will allow participants to benefit from best practices and successful business models of innovative payment systems and the assessment of their replication in MENA with respect to regulatory and business perspective.

Moderator: Dominique Pinoche, Head of Advisory Services, INBOX, France


  • Mr Mohammed Ali Kadiri, Director, CAIXA Bank Spain
  • GSMA (tbc)
  • Slimpay (tbc) 

13:15-14:30 Lunch Break

14:30-15:30 Establishment of the WSBI MENA Group

  1. Mandate and statutes

  2. Roundtable on strategic issues of MENA Group members: interactive debate with participants moderated by Mr. Chris De Noose, WSBI

15:30-16:00 Closing by Al Barid Bank and WSBI

                      Group Photo + Communication to Media

19:30-21:30 Gala Dinner




WSBI organises its annual Postal Savings Banks Forum in recognition of the identity of postal financial services institutions among its members, which represent a third of the WSBI membership. The forum is a unique and ideal opportunity that brings together postal financial institutions from Asia, Africa and Europe to discuss issues specific to postal banking and share information on the trends and developments in their business and markets. The forum is also open to non-postal financial institutions that cooperate with post offices in financial services delivery.​

​18th WSBI Postal Savings Banks Forum

Postal Banking in a Digitized World: Transform or Vanish?

Postal banking leverages its extensive distribution network. However, with the penetration of internet and smart phones, physical outlets are no more compulsory for customers. In some countries, mobile money outlets, retail stores, pharmacies, etc. are even used as an interface or channel for cash in and cash out. The ambitious movement to cashless society at the government level and the trend towards digitalization by industry players have urged postal banking to re-think its future. How should postal banking position itself? What is the competitive edge of postal banking in a digitized world? What is the value proposition of postal banking? What strategy should postal banking adopt?

Branchless banking cannot stand alone. It must be integrated with other channels like branches and contact centres such as post offices to deliver a seamless and simple customer experience. Can the combination of a brick & mortar model with high technology developments place postal banking at the forefront of retail banking among other players?

The 18th WSBI Postal Savings Banks Forum will address the above questions on how postal banking should position itself in a banking landscape that is disrupted by non-bank players and explore ways to improve the competitive edge of postal banking.  What appropriate regulation should be put in place for postal financial institutions to meet its double bottom line and what changes are expected from policy makers? How can postal financial institutions retain customers' trust and loyalty among more diversified banking players? How can they understand customers better and improve human resource capital management? How can they integrate innovation into traditional distribution channels?

09:00-09:30 Welcome

  • Mr Benjelloun, President of Groupe la Poste du Maroc
  • Mr Najm Eddine, President and Chief Executive Officer, Al Barid Bank
  • Mr Chris De Noose, Managing Director, WSBI

09:30-10:30 WSBI Institutional Agenda and Roundtable by WSBI member participants

  • WSBI achievement and priorities
  • Members' latest development and challenges ahead
  • Roundtable discussions:
    • Status of proposed postal financial service study and next steps
    • Members' progress towards Universal Financial Access (UFA) 2020 and programmes in the pipeline
    • How to leverage the WSBI Postal Savings Banks Forum as a platform for business development? Can members help members and how?

10:30-11:00 Coffee break

11:00-13:00 Universal Financial Access 2020 – the role of post offices

At a flagship event during its Spring meetings on 17 April 2015, the World Bank Group and a broad Coalition of Partners – including multilateral agencies, banks, credit unions, card networks, microfinance institutions and telecommunications companies- issued numeric commitments that will help promote financial inclusion and achieve the World Bank's strategic goal of Universal Financial Access (UFA) by 2020. Among the list of partners, no postal organization has made any direct commitments, while post offices are ideally best positioned to serve those in rural areas where a large part of population is still using informal financial service providers. This panel aims to address what role post offices can play in accelerating financial inclusion, what are the obstacles and what improvement should be done at policy and institutional level.

WSBI signed its Strategic Partnership with the World Bank in September 2015, in which activities aiming precisely at helping selected WSBI members to scale up their financial access activities are proposed. What type of actions or support do postal financial institutions need to ensure that they can contribute to accelerating the movement towards universal financial access and financial inclusion?

Moderator: Ms. Sofiatou Onifade Baba Moussa, Vice President, ARCEP (Regulation Authority of Telecommunication and Post/ Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et de la poste), Benin

Keynote speech on Postal banking reform & development and best practice in financial inclusion – the experience from Postal Savings Bank of China by Mr Lv Jiajin, President of Postal Savings Bank of China


  • Ms Nadine Chehade, Regional Representative for Middle East North Africa Region (MENA), Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)
  • Mr Nils Clotteau, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Expert, Universal Postal Union (UPU)
  • Mr Shailendra Kumar Dwivedi, Director, Post Bank of India
  • Ms Amal Kamal, Egypt Post

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:30 Can partnership help achieve the double bottom line?

The competition for postal financial services goes beyond traditional banking players in a digitized world, particularly with the boom of mobile money operators and internet finance. Postal financial institutions are urged to join forces with partners which have complementary skills and expertise.  Client orientation and a strong attention to the needs of the clients, an efficient and well managed retail network and a supportive legal and regulatory framework are all critical factors for successful partnerships between financial institutions and postal networks.  What is best partnership strategy? What should a supportive legal and regulatory framework look like? How to unpin obstacles that hinder the partnership with post offices and other stakeholders? How to manage the human resource capital and how to best train post office staff to provide a good customer experience?

Moderator: Mr Doudou Gueye, Directeur General, PosteFinances, Senegal


  • Mr Prashant Goyal, Joint Secretary (Budget), Government of India, Ministry of Finance (tbc)
  • Mr Moses Manyatta, Tanzania Postbank
  • Mr Alex Kayaayo, ED Credit, Postbank Uganda
  • Mr Admore Kandlela, CEO, POSB Zimbabwe
  • Mr Mamadou Toure, Directeur General, NumHerit in Dakar
  • Mr Vonani Mabunda, Chief Executive, MobiTrade (a division of MobiCash Group Ltd)
  • GSMA (tbc)

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

16:00-17:30 Improvement and diversification of revenue streams

Although WSBI argues that no one single postal banking model prevails over the others and that all of them have their own values and benefits, the business model of postal banking is certainly a key deciding factor for revenue streams. Deposit taking postal financial institutions are mainly relying on the interest margin. With higher competition in a digitized world and increasing price competition after interest rate liberalization, it is imperative to diversify revenue streams. What are best practice in asset diversification? Can investment in riskier portfolios be an alternative solution? Can they increase their revenues by providing intermediary services? How can post office staff get ready for diversified range of products and services? 

Moderator: Mr Zaidi Fouad, Head of Digital Post & Telecom – Morocco Post


  • Mr Haykel Maalaoui, Head of Postal Financial Services, Tunisia Post
  • Mr Chinyong Chong, Vice President, Korea Post
  • Mr Serge Kouao, Deputy Head of Risk Management, La Banque Postale Asset Management (LBPAM), France

17:30-18:00 Conclusions and closing


DAY 3: Thursday, 21 JANUARY 2016 -- MORNING




About the host 

Al Barid Bank, the Postbank of Morocco, was launched in June 2010, transforming from postal savings activity to a regulated bank. It is a fully-owned subsidiary of the Post, which received a limited banking licence from the central bank and had the specific mission of promoting financial inclusion.  Al Barid Bank has a wide network with over 1,800 branches throughout the Kingdom, both in urban areas and remote rural areas. Offering a wide range of banking products and services at adapted pricing, it facilitates access to financial services, thus contributing to the acceleration of banking Moroccan citizens. Since its establishment, the Postbank has been opening 400,000 accounts per year, and now has more than six million accounts. Al Barid Bank is the main reason why banking levels in Morocco increased to 52% in 2012. The combination of a strong position in the domestic and international money transfer market with a specific mission to bank the lower income segments of the population has been quite successful, not only from an inclusion point of view but also for the sustainability of the institution. Given its much larger network and adapted products, Al-Barid Bank has become a strong player in the local market.