SingPost – BT

SingPost to launch digital mailbox in H2

It also announced the sale of its pawnbroking business

Total mail volumes are still on the rise in Singapore, but to pre-empt their inevitable decline, SingPost has decided to launch digital mailboxes as an alternative to physical ones.

By the second half of this year, consumers here will be able to opt to have their receipts, bank statements, and bills sent to a digital mailbox instead of a physical one, for free.

‘We are excited to get into this digital space. The postal landscape is changing as customer demands evolve,’ Ng Hin Lee, CEO of postal and corporate services, told BT.

In its latest bid to push the envelope, companies and other organisations which need to mail out business correspondence regularly can deliver these bills and statements electronically to a secure inbox. They will have to pay postage fees, but it is a move Mr Ng thinks will ‘help businesses to enjoy savings in their operating costs’.

Consumers can then access online and via mobile devices this digital mailbox which promises to be spam-free and offers features such as consolidated bill payment and an online storage vault with five years of archiving.

While the take-up rate naturally depends on how many mailers get on board and use the service, SingPost expects more than 500,000 end-users to sign up within three years.

Postal service operators in other countries have begun to offer similar digital mailbox services too. Finland Post’s NetPosti is one example. And the concept behind SingPost’s digital mailbox offering is not new either – companies such as Zumbox and Pitney Bowes offer similar digital mail delivery in the US, bearing witness to the global push to counter falling physical mail volumes.

For now, total mail volumes in Singapore are still rising, but at a slowing pace. Business mail (periodicals, bills, annual reports and the like) volumes have risen to account for about 85 per cent of the 882.8 million items sent in the financial year ended March 2010, but the increase is narrowing.

And as e-mail replaces snail mail and lifestyles change thanks to improved digital connectivity, public mail volumes have shed, on average, 5 per cent a year for the last five years.

Hence the need for the transformation strategy which spurred its recent corporate restructuring exercise and new initiatives, SingPost said.

In line with this transformation, the company also announced yesterday the $1.1 million sale of its pawnbroking business.

All six SpeedCash outlets will be sold to GL Group, an entity of Peng Kwee Watches and Jewellery – SpeedCash’s partner in the valuation, pawning, and retailing of branded second-hand watches.

This divestment, Mr Ng said, will align SingPost’s resources to focus on regional logistics and e-commerce.

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