Demand soars for postal banking services in Latvia

Lativian Post is currently seeing a surge in demand for its banking services as customers look for an easily accessible, secure place to manage their finances. The operator has said there has been “substantial” growth in customers opening accounts within its Postal Settlement System, a bank account service that allows Latvians to pay bills, receive payments and transfer money to each other.

Provided free of charge, customers can also use the accounts to receive their government benefits and their pensions.

Latvian Post said last week that 14,000 new accounts were opened. More than one in 10 of these were opened in the Latvian capital Riga, but accounts were opened in all major cities across the country.

The service currently operates more than 165,000 customer accounts, and projections from Latvian Post now suggest that this number of account holders could double.

Latvian Post extended the opening hours for its banking branches as of last week, to cope with the demand. It is also in the final stages of a major upgrade to the IT infrastructure for the Postal Settlement System, which should be completed by the beginning of December.

Dairis Krumins, from Latvia Post’s customer transaction processing department, explained that the situation suggested customers were clamouring for a convenient, safe place to manage their payments.

“The payment account system offered by Latvia Post is currently the largest within Latvia, covering the entire national territory and allowing customers to conveniently receive a variety of payments, as well as making transfers to accounts of other financial service providers,” said Krumins.

Latvia Post said with its service providing access to social welfare benefits and pensions, as well as allowing customers to pay state social insurance, it was important that the network could be accessible in areas of the country where there were no bank branches or other payment infrastructure.

The most popular transactions – around 100,000 per month – in the payment system are for individuals to receive pension payments, while around 55,000 transactions per month are for those in care homes.

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