The U.S. Postal Service began paycheck-cashing services at East Coast branches on the low a month ago. The reason? The USPS wanted to test a financial program that could help banking for low-wage people, as per a report by The Washington Post.
Presently, the pilot program permits individuals in Baltimore, the Bronx, Falls Church, Va., and Washington to recover their paychecks, for Visa gift cards maxxing out at $500, as per USPS representative.
The pilot program is supposedly expected to extend at more locations as well as add more financial products including ATMs and bill-paying services.
“To be honest, these are pretty modest steps,” the official stated, according to the report. “It’s a small toe in the water. I think [the Postal Service] is just trying to see what kind of bite they’re going to get. It’s the symbolism that matters.”
Subsequently, postal banking could address issues underserved communities face with getting to their cash. This is meanwhile there are presently 14.1 individuals in the U.S. who remain unbanked or underbanked, which means postal banking can serve as another option.
In an interview, Mark Dimondstein who is the president of the American Postal Workers Union said this could move the future of the USPS.
“The well-being of the Postal Service — that the people in the country so overwhelmingly support — in the future is partly going to rest on these kind of expanded services,” he said in the interview. “New services will not just have the post office doing well by the people, but will bring in needed revenue.”
Democrats like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has supported postal banking for years, in any event, being part of his presidential platforms in 2016 and 2020. Postal banking was even added to the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force’s initiatives.