Sunday 26 February 2017

Post Office network needs to offer more services to survive - report

Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

A study found almost half our post offices are dependant on just 12pc of the total business available in order to survive
A study found almost half our post offices are dependant on just 12pc of the total business available in order to survive

Crisis-hit post offices need to urgently diversify into a range of new services if they are to survive, a report has warned.

Suggested measures include the provision of a nationwide e-payments network so customers can make various payments such as motor tax, and even CAO and examination fees.

A study found almost half our post offices are dependant on just 12pc of the total business available in order to survive.

A disproportionate amount of business is conducted in relatively few of the country's 1,140 outlets. Two-thirds of all transactions are conducted in just 300 post offices.

Overall, it is essential An Post develops an increased capability in financial services as the main banks are withdrawing from rural Ireland, the report - compiled by a business group led by entrepreneur Bobby Kerr - found.

"I believe that An Post is best placed to provide a customer-led solution for a host of financial and government-related services right across the country," said Mr Kerr.

"The group has identified significant opportunities, and we are now moving to a new phase where the feasibility and viability of each new proposed product and service will be evaluated, before we make a final report later in the year."

The Post Office Network Business Development Group was established by Minister Alex White in February and includes An Post, the Irish Postmasters Union, junior ministers Ann Phelan and Joe McHugh and Mr Kerr.

Irish Independent

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