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No Customers, No Success: The Postal Banking Failure Exposed

Nicholas Anthony

It has been three years since the postal banking pilot program made headlines in 2021, but it hasn’t had a single customer in at least two years (Table 1). It is long past time to put this idea to rest.

For those who missed the news when it originally made headlines, the US Postal Service (USPS) launched the program in September 2021. By taking advantage of a loose reading of the law, the program allows customers to transfer business and payroll checks up to $500 to gift cards for a flat fee of $5.95 at locations in Virginia, Maryland, New York, and Washington, DC.

To say the pilot program has been a failure may be an understatement. At its peak, the pilot program had only six sales. In fact, the project has only garnered seven sales across its entire three years of existence. 

Shortly before the program’s September 13 launch, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D‑NY) said, “This is a great first step toward creating a postal bank. [The] pilot program will demonstrate the value to these communities, and show that the USPS can effectively service underbanked urban and rural communities.”

After three years, it’s safe to say the postal banking pilot program has done no such thing. It has failed to deliver value to communities, and it has failed to show that “the USPS can effectively service underbanked urban and rural communities.” It’s time to put the idea of postal banking to rest. Congress should shut down the program and close the postal banking loophole.

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