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Eurogiro - Your Global Payments Community



Eurogiro is a unique payments network that connects different payments "ecosystems", e.g. postal organisations, post banks, commercial banks and other payment service providers, focusing on cross border high volume - low value payments.

Eurogiro facilitates members' cooperation in the field of international payments and offers efficient solutions supporting their offering to clients. Thereby Eurogiro helps increasing the business of its members.

To learn more, contact us at [email protected] or read What Eurogiro can do for you.


 


Mr Pinci joined the Eurogiro Board in 2012. Mr Pinci is Head of Payments Services in Banco Posta Division of Poste Italiane and brings strong personal payments expertise to the Board.  In this interview Mr Pinci expresses his views on the aspirations and challenges of Eurogiro.

 

Walter
Walter Pinci, Head of Payments Services, Banco Posta Division, Poste Italiane and member of the Eurogiro Board

The payments market and Eurogiro have changed dramatically since Poste Italiane joined Eurogiro. What do you regard as the greatest achievements of Eurogiro over time ?
From my point of view the most importang of Eurogiro's achievements are:

- Large global reach with interconnection between the most important postal organisations, banks and payment specialists in the five continents;
- Constant pursuit of excellence in terms of quality standards, cost efficiency and Straight Through Processing
- Implementation of an automated fund transfer system to replace the exchange of paper-based money orders.

You represent a strong sending (and receiving) institution in Eurogiro, but also an organisation that sees part of its cross-border payment business changing dramatically, not least due to the introduction of SEPA. How do you see the value of the Eurogiro membership for Poste Italiane in this context ?
In the last ten years, the European payments scenario has changed dramatically due to the introduction of the single currency and, most recently, SEPA rules which significantly affected all countrires of the Single Market. Poste Italiane is a global front-runner that provides solutions through web and mobile channels. In this context it is committed on one side to achieve SEPA requirements and, on the other side, to adapt its marketing strategy in relation to the business. The marketing initiatives planned for the next three years are focused on expanding the range of products offered to the customers, especially to immigrants, to extend the partnership with strategic Eurogiro members, to introduce specific communication and pricing actions per corridor, as well as new payment methods in Italy and abroad through innovative instruments (i.e. card).

The payments industry is developing rapidly with increased competition from known and new providers. What would be the roles and opportunities for, in particular, postal organisations in this industry ? 
The postal operators have to adapt quickly to the changes imposed by the market and to identify strategic and commercial choices in accordance with the time to market. Furthermore, considering that immigration is today a structural phenomenon, postal organisations, especially the European ones, could offer a signicant contribution to the process of facilitating and accelerating financial inclusion of immigrants. In fact, basic banking literacy and an adequate financial culture could contribute firstly to reduce the diffusion of informal channels and instruments, which are often without protection for customers and reduce the possibility of control by the competent authorities, and secondly to promote the use of payment instruments in order to increase the Eurogiro flow.

Poste Italiane highlights:

  • 6.3 million Postamat cards and 8.8 million Postepay prepaid cards
  • 5.3 million post office current accounts and EUR 300 billion worth of savings
  • 14,000 post offices - 150,000 employees
  • In 2012, 4th among top postal operators in the World's Most Admired Companies list
  • Poste Italiane has been a Eurogiro member and shareholder since 1994

Poste Italiane championed the Eurogiro-UPU link earlier this spring, how will you use the link and what are your expectations of this new option ?
To answer adequately to the needs of customers and to facilitate the exchange of transactions between international operators providing Money Transfer services,  Eurogiro and UPU identified solutions, and also provided technological solutions, in order to permit the networks' interconnection and the exchange of transactions between the respective users. In this context, at the end of 2010, the Parties signed a specific international agreement. Poste Italiane, as a Eurogiro user, and Egypt Post, as a UPU IFS user, declared their intent to act as pilot countries and, since 2nd May they have used this bridge to transfer money to Egypt. Since the launch of the service, some UPU users (Poste Italiane is the UPU Designated Operator in Italy for the service of money transfer) contacted us in order to transmit and receive funds through the bridge. Over the next three years we expect to extend this activity to at least ten partners.   

Italy is among Europe's largest sending countries for workers' remittances and Poste Italiane has targeted itself towards gaining a share of this business. What were the main elements in your approach and how are the results so far ?
Immigration in Italy is an essential element in the economic and social make-up of the country. In January 2011 foreign people resident in Italy totalled nearly 5 million (Caritas data). The main successful factors in our approach to workers' remittances were the communication activities towards customers (flyers, notices, etc), post offices (handbooks, instructions, etc), pricing policies per corridor and products, the increased product range, the simplification of the service application at post office counters, the Direct Mail initiatives, and finally the simplicity and transparency of the information provided to customers. The market flow (2011) had been EUR 7.4 billion. The top receiving countries were: China (34%), Romania (12%), Philippines (8%), Morocco (4%), Bangladesh (4%), Senegal (3%), India (3%), Peru (3%). Eight immigrants out of ten send money home. The frequency of remittances is between four and six transfers per year. The market share of Banco Posta for the International Money Transfer (flow 2011) was 12%.

A quite unique joint approach to corridor marketing towards a migrant community was used by Poste Italiane ad Postefinances, Senegal, in Italy recently. Do you have any lessons to share from this initiative ?
The members can leverage the community to increase the mutual business and improve customer services. On the basis of such conviction we identified an interesting initiative with Senegal. We achieved two goals:
* To provide an immediate, on-line application to open current accounts with Senegal Post;
* To communicate opportunities for transferring funds from Italian Post to accounts in Senegal through the Eurogiro services.
The initiative has been a great success, thanks to the useful contribution of the Senegalese diplomatic representatives in Italy, and will be repeated in the coming months with the same partner and then extended to other corridors of particular interest.  

Finally, how would you like to influence the future Eurogiro? 
Eurogiro works in a growing market and analysts believe that remittances will grow due to continued globalisation and migration. We must consider that this market is continualy changing due to the evolution of the instruments to transfer funds (card, mobile) and we must note that there is potential to expand the network. To face up its competitors and respond in a determined way to the market needs, Eurogiro must adopt winning strategic and commercial initiatives. The current business plan has the required elements to achieve this and will ensure that Eurogiro even further exploits its strong points, not least its interactive framework to develop new business opportunities.

More about Poste Italiane - A successful case story and a business development model
Poste Italiane is the biggest logistic and technological infrastructure in Italy. In addition to postal services, the company provides communication, logistics, financial assurance and mobile integrated products throughout the country to its population, to companies and to public administrations.
Throught its network of 14,000 post offices around the country and with a team of more than 150,000 employees, Poste Italiane guarantees its services to over 32 million customers. Poste Italiane has constantly enriched its offer range and has been recognised for its excellence, especially in the area of financial services.
Poste Italiane is constantly engaged in the activities of technological evolution and of modernisation of the systems and processes to continually improve overall quality. The investments realised up until now allowed the company to guarantee its customers the most innovative services and it has become one of the champions of progress and modernisation throughout Italy.

One of the most recent steps towards such an achievement was undertaken in May 2012, when the CEO of Poste Italiane, Mr Massimo Sarmi, and the Chairman of Egypt Post, Mr Mosad Abd El Ghani, signed an important Agreement for the launch of a new service to transfer funds to Egypt which will significantly reduce the cost fo transactions between Italy and Egypt. This innovative technological solution, which guarantees the transfer of money in a secure way and at low costs between the two Mediterranean shores, has been achieved thanks to the cooperation of the Universal Postal Union and Eurogiro.
"The launch of this new service to transfer funds opens a new chapter in the history of financial services between Italy and Egypt" - said the CEO of Poste Italiane, Mr Massimo Sarmi - "Thanks to the cooperation between the two postal operators, UPU and Eurogiro, the Egyptian community in Italy - nearly 92,000 people - will benefit from a system that will guarantee them a secure and competitive service with which to transfer money" 

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