A digital stamp as simple as a letter to the post office – Editing

In 2023, Swiss Post will operate a device that enables digital stamps to be obtained via the company’s mobile application. A way to simplify postage stamps, even if the classic stamp hasn’t gone away.

Code is obtained with three clicks. This is the form that the digital stamp will take, which will complement the traditional physical stamp, in circulation since 1849. The principle is simple: on request, the mobile mail app will generate an eight-digit alphanumeric code for single use, sold at the green character price of less than twenty grams (1.16 euros). The buyer will have to copy it manually on the envelope to be stamped and sent to the French capital. “The goal is to be able to get a stamp fast with your smartphone,” Explains Pierre-Etienne Bardin, responsible for the “Digital Stamp” project at La Poste.

Ease of use

Why manual copying, when one can imagine, for example, using a QR code? “It would have required creating new machines rather than adapting already existing ones, as is the case with this one, and we also wanted code that could be easily reproduced with a simple pen anywhere in the country” and Answers Pierre Etienne Bardin. The digital stamp will be operational in 2023.

The technology was developed by the technical division of La Poste and its subsidiary Probayes, which was acquired in 2016 and specializes in data and artificial intelligence. In particular, the tokens should be sufficiently different from each other to reduce the risk of fraud. He points to Laetitia Fauconnet-Viegas, director of marketing and communications at Probayes. Since 2014, a somewhat similar technology has been used in Switzerland where a stamp can be purchased by sending the word “stamp” via SMS. In return, you receive a combination of twelve numbers. This need has not yet been determined on French soil. Additionally, we had to find the correct mechanism in our sort strings for the code to be recognized as a valid postage stamp” Illuminate Pierre Etienne Bardin.

Activate postal services

The project manager prides himself on a way to avoid queues at various points of sale. It should also be seen as a lure operation targeting young customers who are addicted to everything digital. And a desire to revive the postal market, which has been declining for fifteen years. In 2020, La Poste, a collateral victim of Covid, distributed just seven billion messages, compared to nine billion in 2019, according to the Electronic Communications, Post and Press Distribution Regulatory Authority. The decline has been going on since 2008. At that time, the post office was 18 billion. However, despite the closure of many offices, establishments providing postal services (libraries, florists, grocers, cigarette sellers, etc.) proliferate in French territory.

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