Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Postbank expands its distribution and sets up its own retail store

By tradition, contract and convention, the Dutch Postbank is bound to use post offices as the main outlet for services. Already in the 1980s, the disadvantages of using that channel lead the Postbank to develop its concept of at-home-banking ('thuisbankieren') suggesting that you don't need to leave home to do you banking and payments business. And this distance-based marketing concept is still at the heart of ING Direct.

As a next step in the evolution away from the Post Office, the Postbank will now set up its own retail stores. Not in combination with postal offices, but a 100% Postbank branded store. Of course Postbank denies that it will desinvest from the agreements with its Post-Offices joint venture.

And this may be true for the moment, but my guess is that in the long run (say 20 years from now) the combination with the post-office will be the exception and not the rule.