TNT Post Deutschland has signed a letter of intent to provide identification services for the new de-mail digital mail service in Germany.
de-mail is being developed by a consortium including Deutsche Telekom, internet provider United Internet and Francotyp-Postalia subsidiary Mentana-Claimsoft.
The service will offer an electronic alternative to paper-based letters, similar to conventional email but with secure, encrypted and verifiable messages between known senders.
The consortium members believe their de-mail system could be used for a third of the 17bn letters sent each year in Germany, and is expecting to capture 10% of this potential within the next three to five years.
Hanover-based bulk-mail specialist TNT Post, part of Dutch postal operator PostNL, signed a memorandum of understanding with Mentana-Claimsoft that will see it verifying identification of de-mail users.
Andreas Drechsler, the managing director of Francotyp-Postalia Holding AG, said arranging the identification component for the service was an “important step” towards introducing the de-mail service across Germany.
“Cooperation with TNT Post will provide us with a full network for the identification procedure throughout Germany,” he said.
Michael Mews, the managing director of TNT Post GmbH said: “For TNT post the collaboration is a further important step towards establishing itself in the digital communications market of the future.
“After all, de-mail is creating a new communications channel that will change and expand the communications market in the years to come.”
The de-mail service was launched earlier this year, after being accredited by Germany’s Federal Office for Information Technology Security. The service is currently undergoing a beta-testing phase that is expected to be broadened to a full service later this year.
Going head-to-head with Deutsche Post’s established ePostbrief digital mail service, particularly in the market for secure electronic transfer for legal documents and sensitive business communications, the de-mail service looks set to undercut ePostbrief’s prices with a 39 cent per message rate, compared to ePostbrief’s 55c per message.