Digital Post Australia switches on electronic postbox

Digital Postbox service now online, competing Australia Post Digital Mailbox service not expected to be available for use until early 2013

Digital Post Australia (DPA) has fired the latest salvo in its battle with Australia Post to attract consumers and business to electronic postal services.

The organisation announced Wednesday that its free Digital Postbox service was available to consumers and businesses, following successful beta testing in August with an undisclosed number of customers.

While Australians can register for Australia Post’s Digital Mailbox, it is believed this competing service won’t be available for use until early 2013.

Under DPA’s Digital Postbox service, consumers request an invitation code that enables them to register for the service and activate their electronic mailbox. They can also view sample content and use other functions such as uploading their own documents for secure storage and retrieval, Digital Post Australia said.

Randy Dean, CEO, Digital Post Australia, said once the consumer’s digital mailbox is activated, mail will be automatically delivered to the consumer online and made available on virtually any web-connected device.

“Since our competitor recently used [its] trusted and iconic brand to formally launch what appears to be a ‘statement of interest’ form for their Digital Mailbox Service, we felt Australians deserved to see what a functioning Digital Postbox looks like and how it operates,” Dean said in a statement.

According to an Australia Post spokesperson, the Digital Mailbox is "already live with consumers and providers."

"Consumers can setup their mailbox by nominating their providers and once their providers are on-board, they will be notified," the spokesperson said. "The MailBox experience requires the providers to be on board before its true potential is enabled. Like your physical mailbox, if it’s empty, it’s just a mailbox."

Australia Post has announced partnerships with Adelaide Bank, AMP, ANZ, the Australian Taxation Office, Bendigo Bank, DHS, Link Market Services, NAB, Telstra, Westpac and Yarra Valley Water as providers. These companies will be "steadily on-boarded" over the coming months.

"We work with individual providers to understand their requirements and internal systems before integrating them with the MailBox system," the spokesperson said.

Australia Post and Digital Post Australia were recently embroiled in a trademark battle. The suit, brought by Australia Post against Digital Post Australia, alleging its name was too similar, was dismissed by Federal court judges who said it was without merit.

Digital Post Australia boss Randy Dean last month described Australia Post’s appeal over the Federal Court’s decision that Digital Post Australia had infringed on its trademark as a tempest in a teapot.

Digital Post Australia is a joint venture between Computershare and Fuji Xerox Document Management Solutions. The service uses technology provided by US-based mailbox provider Zumbox.

Australia Post’s competing Digital Mailbox service is driven by the Volly secure digital delivery system, manufactured by Pitney Bowes in the US.

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More about: AMP, ANZ, Australian Taxation Office, Australia Post, Bendigo Bank, Computershare, Fuji, Fuji Xerox, NAB, Pitney Bowes, Telstra, Westpac, Westpac, Xerox
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