What are the different postal savings accounts?


Quick Answer

While discontinued in the United States as of 2015, there are several different postal savings accounts still in existence internationally. Operating in 14 countries, these savings accounts provide access to secure savings systems for the under-banked.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, postal savings accounts are still available in Europe in Great Britain, Germany and France. They are also available in Asia in Vietnam, Japan, China, Sri Lanka, Korea, India and Taiwan. Other countries offering postal savings accounts are Brazil, Israel, South Africa and Kenya. While these all were originally wholly operated by the Post Offices of their respective countries, many have since become partially or wholly privatized.

The largest and most successful of the postal banking systems reside in Great Britain and Japan. Great Britain's system is so ingrained culturally as a banking system that it allows direct deposits of many state pension and welfare payments as well as cash withdrawals at the postal counter. Japan's system is by far the largest with a reported U.S. $1.7 trillion in deposits as of 2006.

Between 1911 and 1967, the U.S. Postal Service provided postal savings accounts to up to 4 million Americans. Postal systems operating financial services in developing nations account for 15 percent of their revenue from such services. These statistics, coupled with modern solvency issues for the USPS, are one reason it is lobbying for reinstating USPS financial services as of 2015.

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