Recent reports have been made available regarding the country of Ireland and their post office network. Based on information from this report, it was determined that the post office must provide customers with more financial services. Under the recommendation of the Post Office Network Business Development Group, who completed the report, post office locations that do not obtain a lot of traffic should become hubs for business and social activities for the areas that they serve. The future lies in providing these new types of financial services. Here is a further look into what the Irish post office can expect.
Why adding financial services will benefit the post office
Bobby Kerr, who serves as Group Chairman made a recommendation that new services at post office locations should include the sale of motor tax discs, which is what Ireland uses for driving motor vehicles in public places. Currently there are two ways the Post Office Network makes most of their income. Revenue comes for a welfare contract with the Department of Social Protection, as well as a savings and financial services contract with the NTMA. It was determined that 48% of post offices in the country carry out only 12% of the Post Office Network’s business, which is why financial services should be implemented. The An Post, which is the postal service provider in the Republican Ireland, must take these numbers into consideration when reviewing and planning its five-year strategic plan. This plan will be worked out with The Irish Postmasters’ Union.
An Post to make changes
In the report by the Post Office Network, it was determined that An Post needs to develop their own portfolio of financial products and services for consumers. If they want to maintain market share, these financial products and services must maintain a greater influence than other third-party services. An Post doesn’t seem to be aware of the impending crisis that the Post Office Network might be facing, which is why it is imperative that An Post develop an independent working group as soon as possible. This group should work to review their five-year strategy, while offering improvements based on new financial services. It is possible that without reviewing their five-year strategy, some post offices will be forced to close.
Financial services not a new concept
It seems as though Ireland is following the lead of many other countries in the world, in regards to allowing their post offices to provide basic financial services and products. The United States Postal Service is becoming more innovative in their delivery services, as well as other services they might provide to customers in person. There are a number of post office locations in almost every town in the United States. If the United States Postal Service provided small loans, check cashing, bill pay, and the option to open a savings account, it could benefit the entire community. Not only would this provide residents of an area with an easy, one stop shop for mail and financial services, but it would also bring in more revenue for the postal service.
The United States Postal Service hopes to continue to meet the growing needs of the American economy and society. It seems as though this is exactly what they are trying to implement in Ireland as well, and hopefully both countries will benefit from new postal financial services.