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It would be easy enough to have ATMs at isolated Canada Post outlets for those that need local cash, or to deposit cash. There is no need for Canada Post to be competing with bank and credit union brick and mortar locations.

The best solution is the one mentioned by the OP, i.e. partner up with one of the banks like Simplii or Tangerine, or even a regional CU* in those rural locations where there is no brick and mortar location, and provide deposit services. The problem is who is going to subsidize these operations. Canada Post is already bleeding red ink in all of its business lines except 'courier services'. The latter keeps the former from experiencing a total lobotomy.

* Even small town CUs have been rapidly consolidating to stay solvent/relevant. The smallest 120 credit unions out of a total of 220 in Canada have less than 5% of the total CU assets in Canada (not counting Quebec) and they are declining in numbers relatively quickly.
 

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I agree except for those CP locations where there is no other local retail banking/CU alternative. A deposit/ATM service could be partnered at such locations. The problem is who is going to pay for it. I don't actually think there are that many locations where there isn't already a retail banking outlet along with a CP outlet.

Even Fort Simpson and Norman Wells each has a CIBC branch and a CP outlet. No postal banking required.
 

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To give this some factual substance..... For those advocating postal banking, can you name any Canada Post locations in Canada that don't already have some kind of brick and mortar banking/CU location, or at least 1-2 ATMs? Real life examples please.
 

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The CBC story that I linked at the start which is why I brought up the subject. Scotiabank is the only bank, and based on Google Maps, the only ATM. Since they're pulling out, that would be a location. According to Google Maps there are 3 Canada post locations around the island, so this would be an example. Just a quick scan on Google Maps can show some areas in Northern Quebec where that would be the case. Around Georgean Bay in Ontario... just taking a few likely places at random (small isolated areas). Traveling from Perry Sound to Sudbury along the 69 seems to show 1 ATM along the route, but at least 3 Canada Post offices. That's assuming that the ATM information is accurate.

Edit: An older study, and you may disagree with the source, but it does indicate that 45% of rural areas with post offices don't have bank branches: Why we need postal banking. I'll also point out that ATMs aren't always the answer. Lots of convenient store/gas station ATMs I've seen are withdraw only, and you can't deposit cash. Add to the fact that unless it is your bank ATM, you're likely to be charged some fee.
Okay. A good example for why a fully equipped ATM should be provided on Grand Manan, but 3 CP locations in 656 sq km to serve 2400 people? I am speechless. No wonder CP is awash in red ink.

Truth of the matter is no one needs a CP outlet or an ATM or a banking outlet within 30km or so radius from their location. I know of an instance in AB where there is a CP outlet in each of 2 hamlets along a major highway probably no more than 12-15km apart, albeit they are all located in other businesses like they are in Shoppers Drug Mart. There are no "Google Map" ATMs that I know of, but there is retail banking less than 30km away in a larger town. It is hard to imagine anyone needing "banking" within distances that close together. Heck... I rode a school bus over 30km one way during my school years. It is not complicated.

Ultimately, it is not hard to develop workable ATM solutions for isolated areas like Grand Manan. Locate it in a drug store or supermarket. I most certainly would not trust Canada Post and its unionized workforce developing cost effective solutions.
 

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With cash on the decline it no longer makes sense to add support for it. Sure you might come into the situation where cash is needed and it'll be an inconvience for a small percentage to get it but I don't see a money making business model to support that.
Cash is more likely to be used in some isolated places than more urban environments but the locals know that and plan ahead when they make that "weekly trip to town" like we did when I was young. Folks living in isolated locations cannot expect the conveniences of more urban locations. They are traveling for other services anyway.
 

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Nor do I see any potential for it either. There simply is not enough transactional business to make this cash flow positive, even if only implemented in the few Canada Post outlets where there is not a financial services alternative. Canada Post cannot do this as a charity. They are already bleeding red ink in a big way based on their financials for recent years. It is only the parcel (Purolator type) business that tries to carry the red ink on the other Canada Post business lines.

None the less, it seems they are trying to improve some rural operations if one looks at all commentary on their 2021 financial report. What they really need to do is to eliminate a whole bunch of their low volume outlets, decrease letter mail service to 3 days per week and reduce the amount of door-to-door delivery. They tried the latter pre-JT days only to have it politicized by the Liberals. CP has apparently already eaten into $1.5B of their $2.5B credit facility. They will be insolvent in the not too distant future if they cannot reduce services.
 

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As was suggested earlier, if Canada Post wants to partner with someone like Simplii or Tangerine in isolated communities with a 'portal', then by all means do so. I don't know what makes that different from online banking though other than perhaps being able to withdraw/deposit cash like a full service ATM. As long as Canada Post does not carry the financial burden. They are on shaky financial viability as it is.
 

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It is primarily that Cainvest and I don't see the business model to make postal banking work. Who is going to pay for the application, operation and management of it?

If you can come up with a plausible business plan, I am willing to listen.
 

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The latter because either CP or the government will end up subsidizing it in a mind boggling manner. Any government involvement usually means a bureaucratic f**k up. It is like the CBC versus the private networks. It is not a level playing field. Keep government and its agencies out of the business of competing with business.

I am not adverse to CP providing some financial services where no alternative exists, but I loathe the building of a full blown cross-Canada operation and let's face it... that is what greedy civil servants ultimately want to build... another empire.
 

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I had read that document years ago when the media first floated it. It is exactly what one would have expected in promoting the concept of more government intervention in the economy.

I would rather like to see Canada Post's protected status of mail delivery being open to private competition from others while at the same time allowing Canada Post to close extraneous post offices, reduce door-to-door delivery (both the number of doors and frequency) to make the business solvent on its own. Government would have to subsidize isolated outposts to keep the mail being delivered to the northern reaches of our country, e.g. locations more than 100km apart from the nearest facility.

Letter mail and direct marketing material portions of Canada Post's business, especially the former, are horrendous cash flow bleeds on its business and it will only get worse as the volume continues to decline each and every year. At some point, letter sorting facilities and the letter carrier workforce can no longer be supported. There needs to be more and more community mailboxes and more banks of boxes in current CP retail locations like drug stores and supermarkets. I don't have a tidy reference to the trend.....as one needs to look at the Annual Reports from Canada Post each year to get the yearly stats. I am not that motivated to do so.

The situation is not unlike the filing of income tax returns where paper submissions by paper decline by 1-2 percentage points each tax year. For the 2021 tax season, only 7.9% of T1 tax returns were filed by paper, a drop from 14% as late as calendar year 2017. In less than 10 years, the number will have diminished to near zero (final T1 tax returns excepted). Individual income tax return statistics for the 2022 tax-filing season - Canada.ca
 

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Ian, I think isolated northern locations, e.g. more than one hour away from the nearest location, will need some kind of subsidization to keep some functioning financial services available (beyond basic ATM operations) but they could be in existing retail operations or the federal government building located in most such communities. Anyone who currently lives, or has lived in a rural community including myself, knows that up to 100km (or one hour) of travel is not an excessive amount of travel for any basic services. Rural folk have been doing that for decades.
 

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Often over 200kms one way for some people I know, that's the way one lives in remote areas. Would local bank access help them any when they already have to travel for just basic supplies?
I used 100km (or one hour) as a reference point only for the purposes of this forum. There is nothing at all unreasonable about 100km (or one hour). For those that live further remote, that is a personal choice they made at the time and are willing to accept that distance/time to civilization already. They plan for it with "weekly trips to town". Heck... that is what we did with me growing up on a ranch in the Rocky Mountains. There was one trip to town per week where all one's business was done that needed to be done and supplies for the week or month were purchased. All that was achieved in the 2-3 hours we would spend 'in town'. By the way, that included picking up (and posting) mail from the post office box in a central postal office in town.

Too many folk in urban environments think they need daily access to almost everything when that is not the case. We only pick up our snail mail once per week from our community mailbox and we drive right by it every day when we go out for one reason or another. Why would anyone (who is not a business) need to pick up snail mail more often?
 

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If there was a business plan, then they wouldn't need the postal unions pushing it.
This is what it is really about. Job creation/protection for CUPW. Canada Post needs to be able to implement a strategy to shrink its services commensurate with CUPW membership retiring. That will face headwinds with the Liberal/NDP socialists in power. If folks remember correctly, CP was reducing home delivery in favour of community mailboxes until the socialists got into power. It will take quite awhile (CP letter mail teetering on bankruptcy) for even socialists to accept reality.
 

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The TD/CP concept is what we have been discussing on the deposit side with the likes of a Tangerine or Simplii, but there has to be a business model for it to pay. Neither CP nor a bank is a non-profit charity so some 'fee' arrangement would need to be paid by the user/customer. At the end of the day, what we are essentially talking about is a 'full service' ABM where cheque and cash can be deposited, bills paid and cash withdrawn. That could be located in the town hall, drug store, postal outlet or supermarket and should be good enough for an island of 2400.

However, the link is full of CBC silliness about what is inconvenient. No one has to pay 90% of one's bills at a bank or ATM. They can be on PAD and any gov't cheques coming in should be direct deposit anyway. Almost all transactional banking activity can be automated without even having to access one's bank account in any way ever from a phone, computer nor ABM. The real issue is much of the senior crowd (over 80 especially) has not moved beyond the year 2000. That will eventually resolve itself as these folks drop off the planet.
 

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^ I think BNS is hauling away their ATM too. Should their power go down, the folks there should be prepared to write IOUs.

Btw, ain't BNS known commonly as an "island" bank, serving market niches, particularly down in South America? I can't recall exactly but their general marketing was in that region. Now if they can't service Grand Manan up here in Canada, NB, I can't imagine what their image is for SA now. I guess it's like they (all the banks) "care".

BNS=Bank of "Nova Scotia" and there's only one Nova Scotia on this planet.
Grand Manan island - located in New Brunswick, Canada.
The irony ... LMAO.
I would have thought BNS might have kept the ABM for awhile to 'ease the pain' but someone has to service it daily. That is an expensive proposition if the business is not cash flow positive. Unless the business is designated non-profit, they are not charities. I, as a BNS shareholder, have no interest in them bleeding red ink on Grand Manan. I suspect what has happened is more and more residents of Grand Manan have moved to online banking and the BNS staff were spending most of their time surfing the net and playing poker. It no longer was a viable business.

It is pretty clear smaller areas can no longer support in-person services that can be obtained far more efficiently in other ways. The folks that live in small places (like Bath, NB mentioned in the link) need to go online or include banking in their weekly trips to the 'big town' for food and a range of other services.

Added later: Banks will maintain brick and mortar locations where the traffic supports it. It is in their interest to retain customers if they are cash flow positive. Both CIBC and BNS were/are active in a lot of small Caribbean and/or Latin American locations. They've consolidated or left places that no longer pay out, perhaps as banking habits go more online. I expect they would remain active in a places where banking is still very much an in-person 20th century style activity. I expect executive management to be on top of such things.
 
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