Australian stock registration company Computershare has bought out one of its partners in the Digital Post Australia digital mailbox consortium.
The consortium is in the process of launching a private sector challenge to Australia Post’s new Digital MailBox service, which it says will have a full public launch in “early 2013″.
Computershare kicked off the project with US digital mail technology firm Zumbox back in March, along with marketing agency Salmat. The companies are putting together a closed-loop digital mail service and online bill payment system based on the existing Zumbox service currently available in the United States.
Salmat’s document management division, including its stake in DPA, was acquired by Fuji Xerox Document Management Solutions in October for $375m, and now its 40% stake has been sold to Computershare.
Melbourne-based Computershare said today that it now has an 80% stake in the Digital Post Australia project, with California-based Zumbox keeping a 20% stake.
Computershare chief executive Stuart Crosby said his company was “building on its investment”.
“We’ve all said all along that we’re totally committed to the concept of online mailboxes for Australian businesses and consumers, and this shows we’re confident in the success of Digital Post Australia,” he said.
Digital Post Australia said consumers and businesses are already signing up for its service, but the full launch will be early next year.
It said digital postal mail can provide an “efficient and cost effective” method for businesses to communicate with customers, and claimed it would mean 70% in savings per mail item.
Rivals at Australia Post launched their Digital MailBox service back in October, before the system ran into technical difficulties. Consumers can currently register their interest in the service, whereupon they are told to “keep an eye on your inbox for digital mailbox updates, including news of when your mailbox will be ready for use”.
Australia Post said in its new Accessibility Action Plan that its Digital MailBox will now be launched “Mid 2013″.
Digital Post Australia won a court battle against Australia Post in August over claims that its brand name was too similar to the Post’s name. Australia Post decided in October to appeal the ruling, believing people will be confused as to who is running Digital Post Australia.