News, Startups - Written by Asha Jacob, Chillibreeze on Friday, March 16, 2012 9:16 - 7 Comments
Australians offered digital inbox for real mail
A trio of business process companies have teamed up in a joint venture to offer Australians an easy way to receive their physical mail — online.
Australia’s first digital postal service – Digital Post Australia – a joint venture between Computershare Limited, SALMAT and Zumbox, would be available to all consumers across Australia later this year, according to a media release issued by the company this week. The company plans that Australians will soon be able to receive postal mail online, compatible across major mobile platforms including iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
Independent research highlighted by the organisation has revealed more than 50 per cent of Australians found the idea of a digital postal service appealing, with the idea that it would be a secure, consumer-friendly service that offered the facility of receiving, storing and organizing important mail.
Digital Post Australia aims to ensure that every Australian had access to a secure, online digital postbox where physical mail would be made available digitally, in one central location online. Users would receive their bills, notices and statements online, through a single, secure channel, eliminating the need for multiple logins and passwords. The system acts as a personal assistant and notified users when payments were due. Documents were organised in a single digital vault where they could be stored, tagged and searched for. David Hynes, Chairman of Digital Post.
Australia observed: “Digital Post Australia will transform the way we receive and organise all our essential communications. We are taking one of the oldest forms of communication and making it more relevant to today’s marketplace. The Australian consumer is ready for the next generation of mail delivery and the benefits it will bring will be significant and widespread for both consumers and business.”
The digital postal mail platform is a closed system, accessible only to verified mailers and individually verified consumers linked to a physical mailing address. Thus, companies utilising the service would be assured of secure delivery of their communications to the correct recipient, and users could be certain that only they had access to their digital postbox.
Service providers including financial and government organisations would be connected to every household through the Internet. The secure and cost-effective customer channel they used would deliver per-piece cost savings between 50 and 70 per cent to the user. Further, Australian businesses would have a flexible and direct communications channel with their customers. Digital Post Australia emphasized that the digital postal service, with its security and privacy measures in place, eliminated problems of spam, phishing and fraud.
A bit about the partners: Computershare is renowned for its expertise in high integrity data management, high volume transaction processing and reconciliations, payments and stakeholder engagement; SALMAT is Australia’s leading marketing and communications company that delivers multichannel communication solutions; and Zumbox, located in Los Angeles, California is known for its digital postal mail technology platform that connects large transactional, financial and government mailers to consumer households, via the Internet.
Australia has needed a service like this for a while, and while there have been startups who have attempted to tackle this area before, none have really gotten that far with the idea. However, I believe Computershare and SALMAT, with their obvious existing strengths in this area, definitelu have the ability to make the idea of digital postboxes a reality. In addition, it looks like Zumbox has already been fairly successful with this technology internationally. Bringing it to Australia through existing partners with strengths in business processing and contacts all throughout the corporate sectors would seem to be a natural next step.
In addition, I personally really want this service. I operate a PO Box for my business, and it really bugs me that some companies just won’t communicate with me electronically. Every day I have to walk up to the main street and check my physical mail I have tried to get my bank to send me only electronic statements several times now, for example — but to no avail. They are chronically addicted to paper, and we need an organisation like Digital Post Australia to cure them of it.
Opinion/analysis by Renai LeMay