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Australia Post launches inbox and cloud storage for all

Also plans superstores to make parcel collection easier

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Australia Post has announced it will create a “Digital MailBox” for every Australian, as of April 2012.

Australia Post Chairman, David Mortimer. Said the service “ … will allow businesses, government entities and customers to communicate through a secure online portal that can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, wherever they are.”

The signup page for the new service offers a little more detail, specifying the service will offer “Your own digital mailbox to securely receive important mail” along with “Easy payment of your bills.” The third part of the offering is “Private and secure storage for your important documents.”

“Australia Post Digital MailBox will support multi-factor authentication to ensure it's secure,” the signup page says. “All communications will be encrypted so that only the intended recipient can view them.”

The announcement of the new service comes weeks after an outfit called Digital Post Australia, backed by Computershare, SALMAT and Zumbox Softwarem talked up a similar service called Digital Post Australia which hoped to use the first two companies' contacts across the banking, insurance, utilities, telecommunications, government and share registry industries to attract customers. Zumbox's digital postal mail technology rounded out the offer.

At the time of its announcement, Zumbox CEO John Payne said “Australia is a compelling market for this type of digital service – sophisticated, widespread and digitally savvy.”

Superstores

The organisation will also open 30 superstores that Australia Post Managing Director and CEO, Ahmed Fahour said “... are where people's physical lives will connect with their digital lives.” To decode that, you need to know that Fahour's statement also says that parcel volumes are up 13% over the last year, thanks largely to online shopping.

“Australians have told us they want to be able to collect their parcels at a time and place that suits them,” Fahour said. “Following successful parcel locker trials in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane we are now extending parcel lockers to a total of 10 sites, with plans for a national rollout to further expand this service.”

The superstores will have “a 24-hour zone with vending machines, parcel lockers and self-service terminals, as well as a Harvey World Travel store, an American Express currency exchange outlet and a concierge to help customers.”

Australia Post already has a payments service, so that element of the Digital MailBox seems sorted. We'll inquire about where it is sourcing the rest of the technology for the service.

Update: March 28th

Australia Post has declined to comment on the technology behind Digital MailBox. The organisation would not confirm or deny any involvement with Digital Post Australia and declined to detail the authentication systems that will be offered to customers of the new service. ®

With Natalie Apostolou.

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