October 12, 2021
USPS Postal Banking Pilot Launched in Four Cities
The United States Postal Service (USPS) has begun a paycheck-cashing service pilot program in several locations across the East Coast, where patrons can cash paychecks for Visa gift cards up to $500. Postal customers can redeem paychecks in Washington, DC; Baltimore; Falls Church, Virginia; and the Bronx. While currently limited, the program is anticipated to expand across the country and offer additional financial services such as ATMs. It grew from an agreement with the Americans Postal Workers Union (APWU).
The Post Office’s foray into banking services offers a safer alternative for underbanked and unbanked individuals, who previously relied on predatory paycheck cashing stores and payday lenders for their financial services.
It comes as Postmaster General Louis DeJoy begins to implement plans to deliberately slow the mail to raise revenue, with the delivery time for standard first class mail going from three days to five. These service delays are coupled with postage price increases.
“Postal banking isn’t new — it has existed for decades before ending in 1967,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “Post Offices are essential centers of communities across the country and adding banking services makes sense for Americans and the Postal Service.”