Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate has heaped pressure on ANZ to join its other big four competitors and support the survival of personal banking services at Australia Post offices.
Ms Holgate said on Monday Westpac and NAB had agreed to pitch in the requested $22 million per year for three years in order to keep [email protected] operating, with the deal potentially rising to match the five-year agreement signed by CBA last week.
[email protected] lets people do basic banking – including deposits and withdrawals – at more than 3,500 post offices nationwide.
About 1,500 communities – mainly in rural and regional areas – have no local bank branch.
Ms Holgate said ANZ had ‘chosen at this time not to give a long-term commitment’.
‘We continue to communicate with ANZ – they are an important partner to us – but this fee is not even 0.2 per cent, of one per cent, of their profit,’ she told AAP.
‘They’ve got 6000 customers using ([email protected]) every day. They use 99 per cent of the network.’
Ms Holgate said [email protected] currently runs at a ‘significant’ loss from the cost of transaction fees and technology required to maintain the service.
Last week she said CBA’s $110 million deal would allow the postal service to increase base transaction payments to post office licensees by about 50 per cent from January, along with a 25 per cent increase in their annual minimum payment for carrying the brand.
Money from NAB and Westpac would help improve IT and security systems at local post offices, she said.
‘Historically the licensed post office owner would have been responsible for paying a fee to Australia Post for IT services, or providing their own security,’ she said.
‘But we need to recognise these are very small businesses – people have mortgaged their homes to be able to run these businesses.’
Last week Ms Holgate admitted Australia Post has been struggling, blaming a plummeting number of letters sent.
There has, however, been a three-fold increase in packages, up 11 per cent up to record a revenue of $3.5 billion, as Australians increasingly embrace online shopping.