Postage stamps to go electronic

Postage stamps to go electronic
Tom Foremski The US post office has approved the first digital postage stamp. Called an electronic indicia, the stamp will initially be trialed in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. Postmaster general Marvin Runyon said that the indicia “represents the most significant new form of postage payment in over 75 years”. The US post office hopes to make it easy for business and home users to download postage over the Internet and use their PCs to print postage directly onto envelopes or mail items. E-Stamp, the company which has developed the SmartStamp technology, has successfully completed a two-year testing phase to ensure the technology is secure. SmartStamp works by customers purchasing postage on-line and downloading it into the E-Stamp security device, an “electronic vault” that connects to a PC’s printer port. As users address envelopes using a word processor, E-Stamp Internet Postage verifies the address and prints a SmartStamp, deducting the amount from the vault.


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