Russian Post and the Ukrainian postal service Ukrposhta are working together to develop a cash-on-delivery payment system for international packages.
The two posts believe the joint project should help improve trade between Russia and the Ukraine, and in particular create more favourable conditions for e-commerce and mail order business.
In particular, it should help improve access to Internet shopping for people who do not have a credit card suitable for making purchases across borders.
Russian Post said yesterday that it has now completed testing on the technology that will allow consumers to buy an item via the Internet or catalogue in one country, and pay for the item when it is delivered.
A trial service is set to begin “in the near future”, the Post said, once technical training has been completed.
Russian Post said there is already a high level of cooperation between the two postal services in Russia and the Ukraine, and that the Ukraine is among the five top countries for the volume of mail exchanged with Russia.
Last year, more than 103,000 parcels were sent between the two countries, almost double the volume seen in 2010.
Russian Post explained yesterday that distance selling was a “promising” area of business for all postal operators at the moment, but that for consumers using the Internet or catalogues for shopping, the need to have a credit card was a key barrier.
“According to studies, only a quarter of buyers in this country regularly use non-cash payment, and 75% of purchases in this country are made through the principle of payment following receipt of goods,” the company said.
“In this regard, Russian Post’s development of a system of delivering international mail prior to payment can help increase the availability of goods within foreign trade platforms for Russian citizens, and grow the distance selling market.”
Russian Post is also looking into the possibility of cash-on-delivery arrangements with Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Lithuania and Armenia.
And, negotiations are already underway to run a similar scheme into Germany, working with Deutsche Post. Germany is also among the top countries for international mail volume exchanged with Russia, with more than 500,000 parcels sent between the two countries last year.
In the long term, Russian Post said it hoped to reach agreement on international mail and shipping payment with postal operators as far afield as China and the United States.
Source: Post&Parcel/Russian Post