|The shift away from printed mail toward online distribution has been signalled with New Zealand Post signing a licensing deal with digital postal mail provider Zumbox.
As reported in ProPrint, the Zumbox system, billed as "the world's first platform for digital postal mail", will allow the Kiwi postal authority to create electronic facsimiles of paper mail and deliver them online to users based on street addresses.
Zumbox chief executive John Payne told ProPrint: "The way Zumbox works is it is a closed system that operates on the internet in a highly secure environment."
Consumers are given secure login details to access the online portal through a web browser, and Payne said this high level of security set it apart from email.
"Email is an open system. If you get an email from Bank of America, there is only a 42 per cent chance it is actually from the Bank of America."
New Zealand Post's general manager of Integrated Communications, Sohail Choudhry, said the operator was following demand from consumers and mailers alike.
"We have identified a clear interest - both among consumers and businesses - in a digital postal system here in New Zealand, and we are eager to test this service on the Zumbox Platform," said Choudhry.
NZ Post has previously revealed plans to cut costs, including a plan to reduce deliveries in light of falling mail volumes.
Payne said the deal was about more than just reducing overheads. "It will offer a cost saving but also represent a fundamentally different model. New Zealand Post has spent a lot on research and consider this to be one of their top projects."
He said that "it is inevitable there will be a move from print to digital" but said Zumbox would allow "a way for print providers to participate in the digital world".
"In the US, we work with print service providers, for example DST Output, whose mail volume per year is roughly the same as Australia Post."
Payne was unable to give any detail on other negotiations occurring within our region. "We have conversations all over the world but unfortunately they all involve a confidentially agreement at the beginning of the discussion."
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