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Could Postal Banking Be An Alternative to Payday Loan Centers?


For many people, payday loan centers are the only alternative to borrowing from traditional banks.  But a growing number of people are calling for financial services to be a part of another organization – the US Postal Service.

The Campaign for Postal Banking was launched by a coalition of groups, including the American Postal Workers Union.

As a nonprofit organization with locations in more than thirty thousand communities,  the US Postal Service could provide a great alternative to traditional banks, campaign coordinator Katherine Isaac says.

“We think that we can offer affordable products and services to people who really, really need them," she says. "And that’s in stark contrast to payday lenders and check cashers that most people are forced to go to."

Although the U.S. once offered postal banking, operations ceased in the mid-sixties. The current push to renew postal banking has attracted the attention of high-profile politicians, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has used it as a talking point on the campaign trail.

However, Postmaster General Megan Brennan hasn’t made a public statement on the new campaign, and in the past the US Postal Service has seemed reluctant to restart postal banking.

“We know that they have said in the past that it’s not a core function of the postal service, but we are going to convince her otherwise,” says Isaac.

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