Postal Banking Isn’t the Fix for Financial Inclusion

"Postal banking is not a new idea. In the United States, the post office offered small-dollar savings accounts from 1911 to 1966. Modern proposals are more ambitious than merely offering savings accounts, but the contours of a functioning postal banking system remain fuzzy. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s proposal is a mere six pages long, but it is much more ambitious than the earlier version of the postal bank, which offered only small savings account services. Her proposal would authorize the post office to offer basic financial services such as check-cashing, money orders, and remittances, checking and savings accounts, and to even offer small-dollar loans as an alternative to current payday loans."