Australia Post signs up Telstra to use Digital MailBox service

Australia Post has signed up Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, Telstra, as its first major customer for the forthcoming Australia Post Digital MailBox. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding paving the way for Telstra to use the Digital MailBox service to send statements and bills to customers electronically, once the service launches later this year.

The partnership could also see the Digital MailBox service hosted on Telstra’s own secure cloud computing platform, subject to an additional agreement.

Telstra is also set to work with Australia Post on its own IT network so that it can deliver more products and services, which the Post said would help with the rollout of its retail “superstores” across the country.

Australia Post’s Digital MailBox is set to provide a secure electronic mail account for Australian consumers to receive statements and bills, set reminders and make payments on any Internet-enabled device, as well as storing documents in a “digital vault”. The platform will use digital mail technology from Pitney Bowes’ Volly business.

Customers can now register for the service ahead of its launch later this year.

Australia Post is marketing its Digital MailBox to business mailers as a secure channel that will form part of its “integrated physical and digital marketing and communication platform”, stating that the combination of physical and digital channels “will offer better value for money than any other singular service”.

When it does launch, the Australia Post service will be competing head to head in the fledgling Australian digital postal mail market with private sector rivals Digital Post Australia, a consortium led by US digital mail firm Zumbox.

“Preferred platform”

Ahmed Fahour, the Australia Post chief executive and managing director, argued the commitment to the service from the “iconic” Telstra brand was recognition the Digital MailBox would become the “community’s preferred platform” for engaging with service providers.

“Through the MailBox, Telstra will be able to provide its customers with another convenient way to receive their statements and bills on a low-cost and secure platform.

“I am also extremely pleased that Australia Post can leverage Telstra’s trusted brand to deliver bank grade security for the information stored on the MailBox through its Australian-based cloud solution,” added Fahour.

Melbourne-based Telstra, which was originally part of the government’s Postmaster-General’s Department until splitting from Australia Post in 1975, has 8.4m landline telephone customers, 12.2m mobile phone customers, 2.4m broadband and 2.5m mobile broadband customers.

The company sends out more than 100m bills every year.

Telstra chief executive David Thodey said it was part of his company’s strategy to allow customers to choose which communication channel they access their information.

“The Australia Post Digital MailBox will extend this choice to complement our existing digital options such as our website, and mobile applications,” he said.

Thodey said his company was investing $800m over the next five years to grow its cloud computing services.

“We are very pleased Australia Post has chosen to work with us on finalising an agreement that will see the new Digital MailBox Service hosted on the secure Telstra cloud computing platform,” he said.

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