The move, which is a world first, will allow consumers to buy digital stamps through the An Post.
Perhaps in an effort to get people to send more letters, or just to save people the inconvenience of traipsing to the post office to buy stamps, An Post has launched the world's first ever digital stamp.
How does it work?
To buy the new stamp, customers simply log into the An Post app, where for €2 for a standard envelope they’ll be given a 12-digit, unique alpha-numeric code which they simply write on their letter in place of a physical stamp.
A digital stamp for large (A4) envelopes is also available at €3.80 a stamp.
An Post's letter sorting technology recognises the code as a 'real live' stamp and processes it for delivery as normal. An Post says that its cutting-edge sorting technology identifies only correctly acquired digital stamp codes.
What’s more, a notification is sent to you by text or email when your letter has been delivered, which is pretty neat!
However, at €2 a stamp for a standard envelope, the cost is significantly above the €1.25 price for a physical stamp.
An Post says the increase is for the value added of getting a delivery notification for your item.
However convenience is also a huge part. For many people, their nearest post office could be miles away. And for others, particularly coming up to Christmas, the thoughts of having to queue up for half an hour or longer to buy some stamps is the last thing they want to do.
It also means you can send something last minute or on the weekend.
However the digital stamp can only be used for postage within the Republic of Ireland. And it can only be used for letters/envelopes. But it's hoped that in the future the technology will be rolled out for packages and international mail.
Here we have a product that works for everyone; busy individuals who are time-poor and want to purchase stamps at a time and place that works for them; or last-minute senders, as well as SMEs and business owners who need to post at irregular hours and may not have stamps to hand. The Digital Stamp is incredibly handy, it’s available anywhere and anytime in the An Post App and the confirmation of delivery provides great peace of mind to the customer.
Garrett Bridgeman, Managing Director, An Post Commerce
Let's hear from you!
What do you think of the new digital stamp from An Post? Is it a good idea? Or too expensive?