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Business opportunities for post offices identified

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  • Registered Users Posts: 707 Bayberry


    These ideas look very wishy washy to me, An post have tried banking a couple of times in the past but failed. www.rte.ie/news/ireland/2015/0616/708400-post-office-development/
    There's an election coming up - they need to put something out there!


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,132 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Sam Russell


    They started PostBank, which was a brilliant service. It allowed savings to be lodged and withdrawn on demand (including Saturdays) upto €3,000 per transaction and earn a reasonable interest rate - a much better rate than any other on-demand rate.

    The whole thing collapsed when one of the partners (a Belgian-Dutch Bank) broke up. They returned all the deposits.

    Now had the NTMA taken over control of the funds and invested them in Gov bonds, and paid close the Gov bond rates, the whole thing could have continued. It was a daft decision to close down a successful operation and just hand back the balances. The post offices are well placed to run a banking service coupled with social welfare deposits.

    Now they are looking at new business opportunities. Perhaps they should stick to selling stamps.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,233 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Doesn't An Post provide some service for some of the banks, e.g. lodgements and withdrawals for AIB?

    It's slightly ironic that must of the An Post model revolves around cash and the individual post masters are promoting cash transactions, when at the same time, they bemoan robberies.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Retail banking especially savings is a dead end business. In the age of the internet and cashless payment, having to physically go to a counter to lodge or withdraw money from a savings account is already superfluous. I haven't set foot inside a bank in at least 5 years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,547 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    All I could think when that ridiculous campaign to get people to switch from bank transfers to having to collect payments in the post office was - the buggy whip makers of the 21st century acting against the national interest to further their self-interest. If that's the brightest idea they have they deserve to fail.

    Motor tax? Are they serious? Who wants to do that offline?

    "12 pages in and it still needs to be explained to some posters why this guy ended up where he did. It probably explains why so many gobshites get elected in this country."



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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,092 ✭✭✭ GerardKeating


    Motor tax? Are they serious? Who wants to do that offline?

    There is still a significant percentage of the population who cannot do these things online, either no online access, or no suitable debit/credit card.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    There is still a significant percentage of the population who cannot do these things online, either no online access, or no suitable debit/credit card.
    Yeah but the business model is very short term. Internet access is rapidly improving on Ireland, much faster than in other western European countries. Cash itself is living on borrowed time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    murphaph wrote: »
    Cash itself is living on borrowed time.


    Not while the govt gets a quarter in vat...
    Or when I can pay someone immediately, despite it being a holiday in our lord and masters homeland of Germany


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,092 ✭✭✭ GerardKeating


    Not while the govt gets a quarter in vat...

    VAT is the same if one pays cash or card.

    Or when I can pay someone immediately, despite it being a holiday in our lord and masters homeland of Germany

    Which only happens one day a year (May first)


  • Registered Users Posts: 707 Bayberry


    VAT is the same if one pays cash or card.
    I think he was suggesting that some people will do work "off the books" if you pay in cash - it's harder to avoid such taxes if every transaction is electronically recorded.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭✭ Antarctica


    What about an post bringing in rival to the parcel motel service?


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,233 ✭✭✭✭ Victor


    Antarctica wrote: »
    What about an post bringing in rival to the parcel motel service?
    They already have one - it's called not delivering your packages. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭✭ Antarctica


    Victor wrote: »
    They already have one - it's called not delivering your packages. :)

    Yeah but these postal sorting offices are sometimes in awkward locations unlike parcel motel which is usually at a petrol station or at a group of shops.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,092 ✭✭✭ GerardKeating


    Antarctica wrote: »
    Yeah but these postal sorting offices are sometimes in awkward locations unlike parcel motel which is usually at a petrol station or at a group of shops.

    If only they had a network of offices in many locations to leave the parcels at.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,372 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    Parcel Motel is open 24 hours, An Post offices are open when your at work. The whole business model behind PM is that it's more convenient than the Post Office - competing better with their existing competitors is hardly a "business opportunity", it's what they should be doing anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,476 ✭✭✭ ardmacha


    murphaph wrote:
    Retail banking especially savings is a dead end business. In the age of the internet and cashless payment, having to physically go to a counter to lodge or withdraw money from a savings account is already superfluous. I haven't set foot inside a bank in at least 5 years.

    Post offices could reasonably be given a role in ID verification for banks with few or no physical branches. With ever increasing bollix re money laundering etc it is a major hassle to open an account if you cannot go along to branch. If you could bring the original passport/utility bills etc to a post office, who would check that it was you and copy them, send it on to the bank and return the originals to you, it would be a service of great use to the public and a source of business for the post offices.

    I recently tried to open an account with Rabodirect, who want a certified copy of a passport, post offices can certify these, but Rabodirect expect them to do so without any fee.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    Now that's a good idea.https://www.deutschepost.de/en/p/postident/verfahren.html#traditional. Deutsche Post do this thousands of times a day. I've had to do it many times. They of course charge the banks etc. for this service.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,079 ✭✭✭ antoinolachtnai


    You wouldn't expect more than 400,000 of these a year. How much could you really charge? A tenner? It's not a lot of revenue spread across such a wide network. As part of a wider portfolio of products, sure. In itself, it's small. I don't understand why they are doing it for free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,889 ✭✭✭✭ murphaph


    You wouldn't expect more than 400,000 of these a year. How much could you really charge? A tenner? It's not a lot of revenue spread across such a wide network. As part of a wider portfolio of products, sure. In itself, it's small. I don't understand why they are doing it for free.
    Yeah, makes no sense whatsoever unless for some reason they are legally required to?!

    They should certainly be allowed to charge companies for this service. That's how it works here...the company signs up the the Post Office to perform these checks and pays a fee. I don't know if it's per transaction or how they do it (probably different deals available).

    Normally here you go to the website of the company you want to identify yourself to and print off the form with the barcode etc. on it. You bring that to the post office with your passport and certificate of registration (I suppose in Ireland utility bills would have to suffice-imperfect as that is IMO). A regular German just brings his ID card as his address is already on it. EU foreigners in Germany are not issued ID cards, so we need passport + registration certificate. The post office staff member must witness your signature and then they scan the thing in and send it off to the bank etc.

    I agree wholeheartedly that it's not a business in itself but in the age of internet banking and so on it is surely a viable revenue stream for the post office. It's a lot more viable than savings accounts IMO. Of course long term it will also die a death. Here in Germany the locals can already avail of an electronic ID card that can be used to identify yourself to banks etc. entirely online.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 20,995 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    Antarctica wrote: »
    What about an post bringing in rival to the parcel motel service?

    Actually, interestingly, I believe the whole Parcel Motel idea actually started off in Germany by Deutsche Post/DHL (Germany's An Post).

    They have thousand's of these stations placed around the country and they do a lot more then Parcel Motel, you can also weight parcels, send them by the lockers, buy stamps and post letters. They also support collect on delivery payments.

    Even if you aren't signed up to the service and you aren't home when a normal delivery is attempted, they leave a missed delivery leaflet like An Post, but instead they leave the package in the closest locker which you can unlock with the missed delivery notification. A very nice service.

    They are basically a 24/7 post office in much more convenient locations:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packstation

    They have now gone a step further and are introducing a new service called Paketkasten. These are lockers that you can buy (€99) or rent (€2 per month) which are placed outside your house or apartment and packages will be left in them. You can also send packages and letters via these private lockers:

    https://www.paket.de/pkp/appmanager/pkp/desktop?_nfpb=true&_nfxr=false&_nfxr=false&_pageLabel=pkp_portal_page_info_depotbox

    These really are fantastic services and something An Post should really be offering in this day and age of online shopping.

    Last year there was talk of An Post following the private locker idea, but haven't heard any progress on it since:

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/an-post-plans-up-to-80000-delivery-boxes-276452.html


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  • Registered Users Posts: 68 ✭✭✭ Antarctica


    loyatemu wrote: »
    Parcel Motel is open 24 hours, An Post offices are open when your at work. The whole business model behind PM is that it's more convenient than the Post Office - competing better with their existing competitors is hardly a "business opportunity", it's what they should be doing anyway.

    Are you arguing semantics about what is a "business opportunity" for the sake it of it? An post should be competing like the German postal service does as outlined in the post directly above this one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 881 ✭✭✭ Bray Head


    I only go into post offices to buy stamps and post parcels. You would think an obvious business opportunity would be complementary products like envelopes, sellotape, wrapping paper. Royal Mail copped on to this 20 years ago.

    In Irish post offices these products are generally out of stock, absurdly priced, can't be bought by the unit or you can't pay for them at the same counter.

    This holds for post offices run by local postmasters as well as An Post. There is no real commercial mentality in the system. There never has been and these kind of reports are unlikely to change it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,278 ✭✭✭ SPDUB


    bk wrote: »

    Last year there was talk of An Post following the private locker idea, but haven't heard any progress on it since:

    http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/an-post-plans-up-to-80000-delivery-boxes-276452.html

    Apparently staff have been told a phased launch will begin within the next 2 months


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