Unimpressed with post office banking trial, backers eye new initiative

As lawmakers work on finishing fiscal 2022 appropriations, they’ll have to decide whether to keep a House spending provision that would allow some post offices to offer more financial services.

Coming in the wake of a largely ignored U.S. Postal Service test of a check-cashing service, a new initiative could test whether the Postal Service can attract millions of Americans who now lack banking services, serve areas largely vacated by banks and make money by doing so.

Those tests depend on the Senate going along with the $6 million for a pilot project in the House’s fiscal 2022 Financial Services appropriations bill. Lawmakers are trying to finish the appropriations work before the current continuing resolution expires on March 11.

“We are looking to provide very basic services at post offices across our country because they are in every neighborhood,” said Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio. “We’re looking at simple things like cashing their check, or paying a utility bill or selling a savings bond.”

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