Postal service

USPS launches pilot banking program at four Postal Service test sites

the US Postal Service (USPS) has launched a banking pilot program designed to offer financial services to customers in an effort to advance the longstanding goal of postal banking service. The pilot program marks the first time the USPS has offered banking services since 1967.

Through the program, individuals will be able to deposit paychecks or business checks up to $500 on a single-use debit card, which the USPS calls “gift cards,” allowing users to withdraw from money at an ATM or to make online and in-person purchases, USPS announced Monday.

The program will be tested at four sites in Washington, DC; Falls Church, Virginia; Baltimore; and the Bronx, New York. The sites and services are meant to be a “proof of concept” test, and USPS plans to expand pilot services and locations in 2022.

Additionally, planned expansion services include a bill payment product with USPS-branded reloadable cards and internal wire transfers between post offices. Long-term goals include ATMs owned by the USPS, pending approval from additional statutory authorities.

USPS is soliciting proposals from the private sector for check verification services with the goal of improving and expanding the pilot services.

The Postal Service is working with the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) to implement the pilot program and train affected employees at test sites.

Marc Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, said offering these types of expanded services will provide stability for the USPS in the future. “The new services will not only keep the post office running smoothly for people, but will bring in needed revenue,” Dimondstein said. The Washington Post.

The banking pilot marks another step in alignment with Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year plan to improve USPS financial performance. Other key steps in DeJoy’s plan include slowing delivery times for 40% of first-class mail and increasing prices, both of which were implemented recently.

The launch announcement is also the latest in USPS efforts to modernize and improve its systems and operations. Last month, the Postal Service enlisted Lumen Technologies to help update and optimize USPS networks.