skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, April 19, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Merits of Postal Banking on Display in COVID-19 Pandemic

play audio
Play

Wednesday, April 8, 2020   

HELENA, Mont. -- Social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted many services of everyday life, including restricting hours at some banks. Postal workers see this as further proof that offering financial services at post offices is a good idea.

Banking already is limited in many parts of the country, especially rural areas, and nearly 60% of the country's 30,000 post offices are located in ZIP codes with one bank branch or none. Stephen DeMatteo, who leads the Campaign for Postal Banking at the American Postal Workers Union, said that's a problem for millions of Americans awaiting their coronavirus-relief stimulus checks.

"If we had a postal financial system set up in a real way in this country," he said, "that would be one way that people could be able to access money from the federal government."

Nearly one in four Americans doesn't have regular access to a bank or other financial services. People will get their $1,200 government stimulus checks through direct deposit if they've filed income-tax returns for 2018 or 2019, starting as early as this week. But it could take two months for those waiting on a check by mail.

Across the United States, postal workers are considered essential and are continuing their duties. DeMatteo said postal banking would bring in additional funds to the U.S. Postal Service.

"But we're also cognizant of the fact that we don't want to replicate some of the worst practices in the commercial banking industry right now, at the post office," he said. "So, we don't want to be ripping people off with high-interest loans; we don't want to be charging people high fees for saving or spending accounts."

DeMatteo noted that money orders and a limited wire-transfer system already run through post offices and could be expanded. He said he believes the Postal Service already has the legal authority to do this, as well as provide other services, such as offering paycheck cashing and installing ATMs, without the need for approval from Congress.

Disclosure: American Postal Workers Union contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The Bureau of Land Management's newly issued Public Lands Rule is designed to safeguard cultural resources such as New Mexico's Chaco Culture National Park. (Photo courtesy SallyPaez)

Environment

play sound

Balancing the needs of the many with those who have traditionally reaped benefits from public lands is behind a new rule issued Thursday by the Bureau…


Health and Wellness

play sound

Alzheimer's disease is the eighth-leading cause of death in Pennsylvania. A documentary on the topic debuts Saturday in Pittsburgh. "Remember Me: …

Social Issues

play sound

April is Financial Literacy Month, when the focus is on learning smart money habits but also how to protect yourself from fraud. One problem on the …


Outdoor recreation added $11.7 million to the Arizona economy in 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Arizona conservation groups and sportsmen alike say they're pleased the Bureau of Land Management will now recognize conservation as an integral part …

play sound

Across the U.S., most political boundaries tied to the 2020 Census have been in place for a while, but a national project on map fairness for …

The 2023 Annie E. Casey Foundation Data Book ranked Arkansas 37th in the nation for education, and said 56% of young children were not in preschool programs to help get them ready for school. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The need for child care and early learning is critical, especially in rural Arkansas. One nonprofit is working to fill those gaps by giving providers …

Environment

play sound

An annual march for farmworkers' rights is being held Sunday in northwest Washington. This year, marchers are focusing on the conditions for local …

Social Issues

play sound

A new Gallup and Lumina Foundation poll unveils a concerning reality: Hoosiers may lack clarity about the true cost of higher education. The survey …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021