WASHINGTON (11/10/14)--The U.S Postal Service Office of the Inspector General is seeking stakeholder comment on a proposal to offer financial services at post offices. The office plans to release a paper assessing a number of approaches to these services.
The Credit Union National Association has scheduled a meeting with the USPS, in part to discuss additional avenues to promote credit union services.
According to the USPS OIG, each approach "should include a discussion of the types of products, partnerships, and delivery channels involved, as well as analysis of its viability and efficacy."
The products involved include alternative financial services such as check cashing, money transfers, money orders, bill pay, prepaid cards and mobile payment solutions.
"If post offices teamed up with their closest credit unions or community banks, they could provide a pathway for millions of people into the traditional banking system," said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), speaking at a Pew Charitable Trusts forum on the topic in July.
Eric Richard, CUNA's general counsel, said CUNA will be meeting with USPS to see if there could be partnering opportunities for credit unions. He did note that the field of financial services is already extremely crowded and competitive, and credit unions already provide a cooperative, not-for-profit alternative that benefits consumers, including many who would otherwise be unbanked.
"Nonetheless, we are always willing to pursue opportunities that will promote credit unions and the services they provide to their members and communities," he said.