UPU is a worldwide network with 192 member countries fostering cooperation among international postal agencies and part of the United Nations.
The effort is part of a plan to increase the number of postal bank accounts by 250 million by 2020 and support the launch of digital projects at facilities close to places where many people now lack access to financial services.
“Postal Banking is simply the provision of low-cost, consumer-driven financial services through an existing service provider that has reach into local communities,” said Lisa McCormick, who said the option is a good way to reduce economic inequality.
“Postal banking services could include check cashing, bill payment, savings accounts or even small-dollar loans that will benefit consumers who either do not have access to traditional banks or would prefer a public option,” said McCormick. “Every other developed country in the world has postal banking and extending it to Africa begs the questions why we do not have such services in the United States.”
“The US Postal Service is one of the most trusted institutions in America, and tens of millions of seniors could benefit if we were to offer consumer financial services, like paycheck cashing, no-fee ATMs and electronic funds transfer through its 30,000 local branches,” said McCormick, who noted that 59 percent of post offices are in areas that are under-served by traditional banks.