Credit Card Solicitations on the Decline, USPS Hurting

As recently as three years ago, there were a total of 8 billion new credit card solicitations mailed out each year to consumers. At the time, it was a major revenue source for the US Postal Service, and now that those numbers have declined dramatically because of the recession, the US Postal Service is hurting.

The Financial Times of London recently reported that the number of credit card solicitations will shrink to about 1.5 billion when the dust settles from the recession. If you were to compare USPS budget deficits compared to the number of solicitations that credit card companies sent out on a monthly basis, there probably would be a very close correlation.

With the declining amount of postage that’s being sent via the mail each month, the Post Office will likely have to rely on funds provided by taxpayers through the general fund in order to maintain operations. Some have even gone as to far as suggesting that the post office decreases mail delivery to three days a week in order to decrease their costs.

Meanwhile, American consumers are now declining credit cards offers at a much higher rate when banks do make credit card offers. Consumers are also decreasing the amount of debt that they carry. According to the Federal Reserve, consumers have decreased the amount of debt that they are carrying for 10 out of the last 12 months.

Consumers are beginning to figure out that carrying large loads of debt over the long haul isn’t a game plan. Consumers are beginning to repay their credit card debt en masse and new trends of frugality are beginning.

It’s likely that the way that credit cards are marketed to consumers will continue to change in the next several years. As credit card solicitations in the mail become less and less effective, credit card companies will likely rely more on online advertising that can clearly measure the return on investment of specific ads, leaving the US postal service in a difficult spot.