We talk in healthcare about “rural” areas a lot and their access to healthcare, well this could also stand to help provide access to folks in rural areas to make payments easier too.  imageThe report suggests the post office could be selling pre-paid credit cards and why not, as JP Morgan is getting out of that business.  This is interesting as the post office would have the opportunity to model and build their “own” infrastructure to handle this. 

Furthermore the report states that the post office should look into online and mobile technologies to allow customers to check balances, transfer funds, pay bills and so on.  The report said if the post office could capture 10% of this business it could answer a lot of their budget shortages too.  This is a trend happening in other countries as the UK and New Zealand already does it and India is looking at this as well.  US Post Office ATM machines sitting right next to some Bitcoin ATMS or maybe one in the same there too:)  The Post Office already does offer money order services and partners with American Express on prepaid credit cards, so yes why not their own. 

What’s cool too is that we as citizens can have a voice here too..like don’t sell out data with who the post office might contract with.  You have T-Mobile jumping in here too…and they will probably sell data. 

Post Offices can offer more locations than branches of banks as they are already there.  I talked with my local mail carrier and he indicated their recent partnership with Amazon is also working well.  The post office could be loaning money…and already has the authority to launch several types of products.  Who knows as far as affiliations, and perhaps partnerships with credit unions could emerge too.  We heard about the new MyRA announced by the President…potential there to perhaps connect access through the post office, maybe.  Again this definitely has potential for access for rural communities for sure.  Below is the report and study from the OIG.  BD 

Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved


The US Postal Service should consider offering financial products such as pre-paid cards to the underbanked as a way of shoring up its own balance sheet, a watchdog has said. Meanwhile, the service's Indian counterpart has already begun its assault on the banking market.image

In a white paper, the US Postal Service Office of Inspector General says that the post office should think about targeting the quarter of American households - 68 million adults - that are underserved by the banking industry.

With its huge physical network, the postal service is well placed to move into this area, picking up the slack left by banks shutting down their branches. However, the white paper stresses that this should not be done by becoming a bank but rather through partnerships with traditional lenders.

http://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=25662

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