This paper analyzes the experience of the United States postal savings, and compares it to Japan’s experience with a view to assessing the past and potential future role of postal savings in Japan. It finds that demand for postal savings deposits is explained, in both countries, mainly by two variables: price (interest- differentials) and confidence in private banks. Geographical accessibility in rural areas is of less, and diminishing, importance. It is argued that postal banking should be viewed as an alternative to publicly sponsored deposit insurance, as a means to assure households’ access to safe and convenient savings and payment services. Accordingly, the reforms undertaken in the next.