Banking

Chase Wants To Put ATMs In Post Offices

Chase Wants To Put ATMs In Post Offices

J.P. Morgan Chase is looking into installing ATMs in U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offices, CNBC reported.

The bank, which is the biggest in the U.S. by assets, had "very preliminary" conversations about installing the machines, according to spokeswoman Trish Wexler, as reported by CNBC. She said the idea is to serve "some historically underserved communities." But she said there was currently no plan to do this.

The discussions come at a fraught time for the USPS, as it is at the center of a government controversy over actions taken by new postmaster Louis DeJoy that critics say will slow down the mail in ways that could affect the November election's mail ballots.

Some think a J.P. Morgan move to add ATMs could be the beginning of further privatization, according to CNBC. Washington D.C.-based newsletter Capitol Forum said the move could position the bank for exclusive rights to solicit postal customers.

And a task force created by former vice president and current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will look into the possibility of a government-backed bank through the USPS that would aid low- and middle-income Americans, a model that other countries already use, CNBC reported.

In March, PYMNTS published data from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the likelihood of some various statistics involving adding more retail potential to USPS locations. It found that 25 percent of American adults would be more likely to use financial offerings if they were available at USPS locations, and that $10.5 billion per year was generated at the USPS's retail facilities in 2018.

The report found that the cost was $5 billion to operate the retail locations, and the facilities accounted for around 15 percent of the total USPS revenues for 2018. It stated "some noted that USPS could provide a viable banking alternative for those lacking banking services."

"However, USPS officials, postmasters GAO surveyed, and stakeholders GAO interviewed said that additional offerings may generate minimal revenue, and that USPS may face factors limiting the viability of these offerings," the survey found.

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