USPS offering check cashing at four locations
By Bill McAllister, Washington Correspondent
The United States Postal Service acknowledged Oct. 4 that it began offering limited check cashing at four locations on Sept. 13, an action that some lawmakers hailed as a possible move toward a return of postal banking.
The four communities where the tests are underway are Washington, D.C.; Falls Church, Va.; Baltimore, Md.; and the Bronx, N.Y.
The new service allows customers at those locations to use business or payroll checks to purchase gift cards with a value up to $500.
No cash is being disbursed, the USPS said in a brief statement.
It said the test was being conducted with the support of the American Postal Workers Union.
This is “an example of how the Postal Service is leveraging its vast retail footprint and resources to innovate,” the USPS said.
The USPS management has never been eager to re-enter the banking business, which the federal agency abandoned in 1967.
Some lawmakers, however, have been clamoring for years to get the Postal Service to offer banking services, especially in areas poorly served by banks.
In the statement, USPS spokeswoman Tatiana L. Roy said: “Offering new products and services that are affordable, convenient and secure aligns with the Postal Service’s Delivering for America 10-year plan to achieve financial sustainability and service excellence.”
The 10-year plan is Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s proposal for ending the agency’s years of multibillion dollar deficits and breaking even on its operations.
While the tests were welcomed by some legislators, others, including banking industry spokesmen, said the move is not a wise one, given all the financial problems the USPS has faced in recent years.
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