The USPS is testing out becoming a bank, and it's about damn time

Originally published at: The USPS is testing out becoming a bank, and it's about damn time. | Boing Boing


Better than the nothing that exists now, that’s for sure. But not really a bank per say if it’s not allowing people to deposit money and issuing debit or credit cards. More of a check cashing clearinghouse. And what’s with the $5.95 fee? Oh right… CONS believe every service they don’t like should be required to generate revenue (other services they like don’t have this mandate of course and can run in the red endlessly… see: defense department for example).

When will they ditch LackofJoy and let Biden pick someone new? I’m tired of that rat trying to sink the ship from within.


Let’s hope this is a first step toward reinstituting the whole enchilada of postal savings systems. :crossed_fingers:
I work in a low-income program, and that $89 billion figure from 2012 makes my blood boil. I’ve seen how much difference even $50 can make sometimes. That’s unconscionable.


I saw an article a while back about an ATM cash out operation (NK IIRC) that used Japanese 7/11s, noting they’re the only place you can use foreign cards.

Maybe it’s changed but I recall using the post office ATMs to get all the ¥¥¥¥¥ I needed, since there were no fees on their end.

My 20s were incredibly cyberpunk, so I also did fun things like calculate the yield of a North Korean atom bomb when they rattled their sabers the one time when I was visiting Japan, and concluded if they nuked Okinawa the resort my confernce was in would be as relatively unaffected as one can be by a literal nuclear bomb, and joked over breakfast “worst case Ontario, NK nuke the Marines, they get wiped off the earth, and we just let China absorb them if they’ll keep the stupid buffer zone everyone’s obsessed with and we can stop letting folks abuse the townspeople then fly back to America under the guise of natsec – now please ask that nice lady if she can bring me more espresso please? I am exhausted.

Anyways, jokes aside, Japan is a lovely country and the postal banking system is a very good thing that should be done here, if they don’t pull any of that negative interest rate bullshit. (I worry about all these tiny credit unions failing in parallel and NCUA straining to bail them out.)

Anyways, thanks for the article - I agree it’s about damn time (for postal banking… and for me to switch back to tea)


As it stands, nearly 35 million US households — that’s 28% of the country — either don’t currently have a bank account, or regularly rely on alternative financial services like check-cashing services and payday loans for other reasons

And then there are those without a household, working but living out of their cars or whatever. Nothing is more worrisome than carrying a lot of cash when you’re homeless. A card with a PIN would be so much easier.


Sure, just when the USPS announces slower and more expensive service, let’s give them another job too big to fail.


Yeah, I was kind of surprised that 35M households translates to 28% of a country of over 300M people, but maybe they didn’t count all the people living like you describe?
And ditto about cash being worrisome when you are homeless!


Off topic:
Why is Dejoy still at the USPS?


I hope this initiative continues and puts the vampiric payday loan industry in the grave with a stake through its chest. The industry’s political Renfields, including the despicable Dem Wasserman-Schultz, sustained it far too long.

Of course for it to work, they’ll have to get rid of DeJoy and the other “free”-market advocates who’ve deliberately sabotaged the USPS.


I mean, my credit union in Texas allows me to open an account and have a debit card without a utility address, but not so at my credit union in San Diego. I can have an account, but no debit card without a utility address. So frustrating.


I recall back in the 70s, visiting family in Europe, going to a post office to exchange my dollars and cents for schillings and groschen. No fee, and very handy.


It’s the board of governor’s thing:

For any who don’t know: I think there are 9 voting members, plus DeJoy and a deputy or something. They appointed him. No more than 5 voting members can be from the same party. Biden’s appointed 3 new Dems, but the existing ones are behind DeJoy. I don’t know why they support him (2 of the Dems do, and I guess all of the rest?).


On the one hand, conservatives are going to have a stroke about this.

On the other, in low income areas that have no banks and only have check cashing places this news is a godsend.


A hold over scumbag from the Orange One, thanks Donald.


I have been going back and forth to Japan since 2003. I found Citibank cards worked at most ATMs (especially in convenience stores) and they had several branches in major cities.

However ATMs are not 24/7 operations there, which was annoying when cash was needed for late night drinking.

My in-laws used the post office system for cash all the time. They lived in a semi remote suburb of Nara and it was closer than banks or 7/11’s.

The adoption of a postal banking system would be great. Doing it in a way not to nickle and dime its users would be ideal


I find it particularly concerning that a proof-of-concept this important is piloting under DeJoy. A failed pilot can do a lot of damage to the public perception of an idea, and DeJoy will do everything in his power to make sure it is a spectacularly failed pilot, as he is with the postal service in general. I don’t trust Americans to be discerning enough or have the historical perspective to collectively realize that he is the problem, not the concept.


I think you’re correct and I misremembered and it was if I wanted an ATM outside “business hours” (still amused by that quirk) you gotta hit the post office


I live in Kenosha, Wisconsin. One of the things that makes me seriously wonder about the source of the damage from the protests (riots, depending on who’s reporting the story) last summer was the fact that there are two such scumbag operations within the block where a large part of the damage occurred. Both of those businesses were untouched. If I was out for payback against something that’s harmed the local community, I think I would have targeted one of those over a small photography studio or an elk lodge.


I have a lot of things I noticed during covid like this though not that extreme.

Ted Bundy used to go out in the rain to bury bodies. (Not many hiking then)

Similarly, COVID stripped away the hustle and bustle of cities, and made oddness stand out more, IMHO. It’s something I want to do a creative piece of writing on at some point, focusing on the concept rather than specifics.


@thomdunn Again. You should add “again” to the headline, as the USPS was a bank from 1910 to 1967.

I think this is a great idea - though PLEASE, for the love of god, hire more people if they do. Some locations may have to expand their offices etc.