The Postal Regulatory Commission approved USPS’ request to market test gift cards. PRC said in its decision that “Based on the record before it, the Commission finds that the proposed Gift Cards product is a postal service and that the market test is consistent with 39 U.S.C.3641. The Postal Service shall file results of market test data collection with the Commission as described in the body of this Order.
At first, gift cards will only be available at Postal Service retail windows, but will not be available at Automated Postal Centers or on the Postal Service’s website at www.usps.com. Gift cards will be activated upon purchase from a Postal Service retail associate and will be immediately available once activated. The Postal Service will operate only as a sales agent. The card supplier will provide all customer support.
The market test is scheduled to commence in May 2011 in 2,000 Postal Service retail locations that currently sell greeting cards. The Postal Service intends to expand the test up to 3,000 additional Postal Service locations (including locations without greeting cards) in October 2011. Id. at 3-4. The duration of the market test will be 24 months unless the Postal Service requests an extension from the Commission,terminates the program, or establishes the gift card as a permanent product.