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USPS continues postal banking pilot, despite House Republicans’ objections

The Postal Service is telling its regulator it has no plans still to pull the plug on a postal banking pilot, in spite of a lack of buyers and opposition from Home Republicans.

USPS advised the Postal Regulatory Fee in a modern submitting that it will proceed the postal banking pilot “in its current form” past March 2022.

“No closing determinations have been achieved with regard to ending the pilot, or with regard to any other likely measures that might be taken to modify the pilot,” USPS lawyers wrote.

USPS spokeswoman Tatiana Roy mentioned Wednesday that the company didn’t have any further updates on the pilot outside of its filing to the PRC.

USPS told the commission in January that 6 buyers had taken gain of the check out-cashing pilot it released very last September, and that the agency created just above $35 in profits.

The fee is directing USPS to deliver recognize when it terminates the program.

USPS quietly released the pilot plan on Sept. 13, which lets prospects to cash payroll and company checks in the type of reward cards.

For a flat charge of $5.95, shoppers can obtain a single-use present card of up to $500, using enterprise or payroll checks as payment. USPS won’t accept checks larger sized than $500, and won’t disburse money for any checks.

Four write-up office locations are at present collaborating in the pilot in Washington Baltimore Falls Church, Virginia and the Bronx, New York.

The agency already features some standard economical solutions, which include funds orders, electronic money transfers and cashing checks issued by the Treasury Office, but would will need legislation to take on extra strong products and services at its additional than 34,000 retail areas. 

The Congressional Investigation Assistance located USPS made available some monetary solutions in the 20th century, but they have not been obtainable considering that the agency terminated the Postal Financial savings Method in 1967.

When progressive Democrats have introduced laws in latest years that would grow banking services at USPS, Household and Senate Republicans have dismissed these proposals, declaring they go outside of the agency’s main mission of offering mail and packages.

Major Republicans on the House Oversight and Money Services Committees, in a letter to Postmaster Basic Louis DeJoy on Wednesday, expressed aggravation with USPS for prolonging an “unsuccessful” pilot program.

Property Oversight and Reform Committee Rating James Comer (R-Ky.), House Money Services Committee Position Member Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) and Purchaser Defense and Monetary Institutions Subcommittee Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.)

Lawmakers explained the pilot violated authorized constraints on USPS supplying or producing new products outside the house the scope of its common postal solutions, and that USPS released the application without the need of approval from Congress or the PRC.

“The software violated extensive-standing prohibitions that stop USPS from presenting or building new non-postal items, and above the course of four months, it proved extremely unpopular. It is consequently unclear why, and on what basis, the software has been extended,” they wrote.

The lawmakers also pointed to the pilot’s absence of customers as evidence that the application “was not designed in reaction to shopper demand from customers.”

“The failure of the pilot program demonstrates that customers are not fascinated in banking with the federal authorities, which include USPS,” the lawmakers wrote.

President Joe Biden a short while ago signed into legislation the Postal Service Reform Act, which specifies postal solutions to include “the supply of letters, printed make a difference, or mailable packages, such as acceptance, collection, sorting, transportation or other features ancillary thereto.”

The lawmakers instructed DeJoy this definition of postal solutions in the laws “exists to be certain USPS focuses on its exceptional function and does not target on novel non-postal solutions and providers that could limit non-public marketplace advancement, like the industry for economical products and services.”

PRC Chairman Michael Kubayanda, in a March 9 letter to Property Republicans, reported the fee has been “actively engaged” with USPS in offering oversight and providing details about the pilot software.