An Post supermarket trials to go to 10 stores
If An Post does not offer some services through Tesco and other supermarkets, its competitors will, the company has told TDs and Senators. An Post also confirmed it was in talks with “a number of banks” about handling transactions for customers.
Already, some 2,000 stores are offering customers the opportunity to pay bills through an An Post PostPoint facility, while the possibility of adding mail services is under trial in four Tesco supermarkets.
The mail services in supermarkets are being branded “Post and Pay”. An Post is also planning to extend the number of supermarkets in the trial to 10 by the end of the year.
An Post retail operations director John Daly told the Oireachtas Committee on Communications that the business had to follow customer “footfall”.
However, he said, An Post “does not have a plan or proposal” to close its network of 1,147 post offices, 57 of which it owned and ran itself. “Nor is it part of our business strategy that we allow post offices to close by stealth,” he added.
Mr Daly said the branch network offered services “as diverse as bill payment and banking, with social welfare payments, savings, foreign exchange and retail products such as Postfone and gift vouchers”.
While mail services had fallen 30 per cent since 2007, he said other business had been added, including insurance options and foreign exchange.
An Post estimated it now had in excess of 30 per cent of the consumer foreign exchange market after only three years in the business.
An Post’s director of sales and marketing Liam Sheehan told the committee An Post was in consultation with “a number of banks” based on 10 years experience of handling transactions for AIB and for a shorter time with Danske Bank. He added that negative media reports of branch closures did not help.