Nearly 28 percent of U.S. households (or 100 million people) do not have access to affordable financial services. For many, traditional banks are out of reach either geographically (bank deserts exist in both rural and urban areas), or due to high fees and other obstacles to opening, maintaining and accessing accounts. This lack of access drives millions (mainly the working poor) to rely on costly, predatory services such as check cashing and payday loans, trapping many in a cycle of debt.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is in a unique position to provide basic, affordable, consumer-driven financial services via its existing infrastructure. The USPS is a trusted, accessible, and secure government agency (that receives no tax dollars for operating expenses) with the world’s largest retail network (31,000 branches serving every urban, suburban, and rural community in the country). Non-profit financial services provided by the USPS could help struggling families nationwide achieve financial stability – and strengthen the USPS mission to serve the public.
Postal systems around the world – including France, Italy, Japan, China, Brazil, India, and New Zealand – offer financial services and play important roles in advancing financial inclusion and literacy. And we have a tradition of postal banking in the United States as well. From 1911 to 1967, the U.S. Post Office offered savings deposit accounts, for example. The USPS continues to offer domestic and international money orders as well as international wire transfers.
Campaign for Postal Banking is a coalition of consumer, worker, financial reform, economic justice, community, civic, and faith-based organizations building a campaign-based movement to inform and mobilize the public to call on the United States Postal Service to take the necessary steps to restore and expand postal banking at its branches across the country.
- Alliance for Retired Americans
- Americans for Financial Reform
- American Postal Workers Union
- Center for Study of Responsive Law
- Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
- Commonomics USA
- Communications Workers of America
- Essential Information
- Interfaith Worker Justice
- National Association of Letter Carriers
- National Postal Mail Handlers Union
- National Rural Letter Carriers Association
- People’s Action
- Public Citizen
- United for a Fair Economy