created over 3 years ago | Tagged:
The Swiss postal service has started redirecting some mail from the letter box to the in-box. A program introduced by the Swiss Post in June allows subscribers to receive scans of their unopened envelopes by e-mail message and then decide which ones they want opened and scanned in their entirety, to be read online. Subscribers can also ask to have the contents archived, send unopened letters to another address or have them shredded and recycled.
The success of the program, called Swiss Post Box, will depend on how widely digital mail is accepted, said Mark Levitt, a former analyst at the International Data Corporation in Washington, a research firm. “Even people who warmly embraced digital tools stopped short of giving up on paper,” he said. “In fact, the electronic age has generated even greater demand for printers, paper and ink because people have even more information that they feel the need to print out on paper to read.”
The program uses technology provided by Earth Class Mail, a company based in Seattle that has tens of thousands of individual subscribers worldwide, mostly in Britain, the United States, Canada and Mexico. Clients in those countries have mail sent to one of more than two dozen designated addresses for processing. This is the first time that Earth Class Mail has licensed its technology to a postal service.
Basic service for Swiss Post Box starts at 19.90 Swiss francs, which is about $18.35. In North America, clients pay $10 to $60 a month for Earth Class Mail’s service, depending on how much mail they want scanned.