The U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report today on “The Road Ahead for Postal Financial Services.” Below is a statement from Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers:
The OIG’s report contains interesting observations and recommendations on ways the Postal Service can begin to serve the needs of 68 million adults in this country who have either no access or only limited access to basic financial services.
Of particular interest are services that the Postal Service could immediately pursue since it already has the authority to provide such services as money orders, post-office-to-post-office money transfers, bill payment, check cashing, international remittances and automatic teller machine (ATM) access. These basic services would give a much-needed option to those with no alternative available in their communities.
Because post offices are located everywhere—urban centers, suburbs and rural America; not simply located according to profit models—they are a ready-made network for people to come to, to obtain affordable financial services administered by highly trained, experienced and trusted public servants. This infrastructure includes more than 30,000 post offices and is the largest, best-distributed physical network in the country.
This model has been successful in many other countries and has the potential, according to the OIG, to generate at least $1.1 billion of revenue annually, which would allow the Postal Service to continue its innovative efforts.
The OIG’s recommendations are a good place to start, and we urge the Postal Service to take steps to immediately pursue these opportunities to fill the unmet needs of those in underserved communities.