Geneva, Switzerland (BBN)- Eight Arab countries have signed an agreement to start electronic money transfer services using technology that has been developed by the United Nations postal agency.

Postal operators in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen will now be able to exchange money orders on a multilateral basis, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) said in a press statement on Friday.


The postal agency has been trying to improve access for rural populations, and especially migrant workers, to secure and reliable money transfer services through formal channels – rather than the traditional informal methods.

Other Arab countries have indicated they hope to join the arrangement by the end of the year, according to the statement.

The UPU said a parallel project is expected to be set up among the countries of North-Eastern Africa next week, drawing on the UPU’s so-called IFS application and the international financial network.