Digital Check study of postal banks hints at possible future for US bank branches

Postal banking isn't likely to catch on in the United States in the near future, but its underlying principles could play a role in branch transformation efforts industry-wide, according to a new white paper from Digital Check Corp.

The check-scanner manufacturer examined postal banking systems around the world, and found shared traits that might help financial institutions deal with issues such as declining foot traffic and rising branch transaction costs, a press release said.

The title of the company's resulting report, Branch of the Future? How Right-Sizing, Microbranches, and Agency Banking May Play a Bigger Role than Tech, hints broadly at Digital Check findings: Shared infrastructure, right-sized branches, and low-cost "agency" banking for basic transactions are all likely to play a role in the future of the brick-and-mortar branch.

"If we're asking the question, 'Should the government start a bank?' we're missing the point. For most of these concepts, it doesn't matter whether it's the Post Office or the private sector doing it. We should be asking, 'What can we learn from postal banks to make the branch more efficient?'"

The research stemmed from a proposal floated by the U.S. Office of the Inspector General in 2015 to introduce financial services at more than 30,000 branches of the U.S. Post Office, the release said.


Download the report, Branch of the Future? How Right-Sizing, Microbranches, and Agency Banking May Play a Bigger Role than Tech.


Topics: Bank / Credit Union, Branch Transformation, Research, Trends / Statistics


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