Magazine article American Banker

Post Office to Accept Cards in Three Cities

Magazine article American Banker

Post Office to Accept Cards in Three Cities

Article excerpt

Post offices in three cities will begin honoring plastic by the end of this month, a key step in what is shaping up as a major expansion of bank credit and debit card acceptance.

In the first phase of an anticipated national rollout, Master-Card, Visa, and Discover cards will be accepted at 555 post offices in Dallas, Orlando, and Washington. Those cities account for $1.2 billion in annual sales.

The U.S. Postal Service, which has 33,000 outlets overall and almost $25 billion in annual sales, could become the largest single card-accepting merchant, said David W. Lewis, a vice president of MasterCard International, which is spearheading the promotion of the postal program.

Chasing Customers

Card issuers and their associations have been moving aggressively to bring the Postal Service and other nontraditional participants - such as health care providers, fast-food restaurants, and movie theaters - into the plastic payment system.

The card systems have geared their operations for cash-oriented sites like post offices. The Postal Service will accept cards for any payment in any amount, with the exception of money-order purchases.

In addition to the national credit and debit card brands, post offices will accept automated teller cards prevalent in the respective regions: Pulse in Texas, Honor in Florida, and Most in the Washington area.

National Data Corp. of Atlanta has the transaction processing contract for the initial 555 post offices. …

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