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Postal Banking, Alcohol Delivery Could Save the U.S. Postal Service, Experts Say

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The proposed changes could generate billions of dollars of new revenue for a postal service that’s struggling to make money.

What We Know:

  • Members of Congress, economists, and consumer advocates have put forth two new changes for the United States Postal Service (USPS). In order to modernize and bring in more revenue, they say postal banking and alcohol delivery should be the future. Rakim Brooks, the senior campaign strategist with the ACLU, remarked that “people are using the mail less, and we think that the institution has to provide new services.”
  • Brooks called postal banking a “win-win” solution that would serve millions of Americans without proper access to banking. The USPS once offered postal banking to its customers from 1910 until 1967. The service’s return would provide basic services like checking accounts, wire transfers, bill payments, and check to cash.
  • Last week, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy unveiled a new 10-year plan for the USPS. Included in his plan were higher postage rates and a slowing of First-Class mail.  Without serious help, the postal service could lose up to $160 billion in the next decade, stated DeJoy.
  • In the same way, postal banking would bring in new revenue, so would shipping alcohol. Rival carriers FedEx and UPS already ship beer and wine, but the Postal Service cannot due to old Prohibition-era laws. According to the Congressional Budget Office, if the USPS shipped alcohol, it would stand to make another $50 million a year.
  • California Rep. Jackie Speier introduced the USPS Shipping Equity Act in 2019, which would allow the Postal Service to ship alcohol. “It makes no sense to create a competitive disadvantage for the USPS by barring them from these kinds of shipments,” said Speier.

With the USPS struggling to generate funding, it must seek new ways to modernize as a service that faces increased competition for shipping.

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