70% of world’s posts see digital services as “important” for future

70% of world’s posts see digital services as “important” for future

The UPU said the “first-of-its-kind” study pointed to a rapid growth in postal e-services in a range of types, including digital postal communications, electronic financial services, e-commerce and digital government communications.
Some 93 postal operators – 49% of the UPU’s membership – took part in the survey, with 70% stating the impression that e-services were now strategically important for the future of the industry.
The research identified 55 different kinds of postal e-services already being provided by posts. Overall, the number of postal e-services being provided around the world has grown from 33 in 2007 to 85 during 2010.
Some of the most well-developed are track-and-trace services and online bill payment systems, particularly in the more industrialised countries. E-finance and e-commerce services are also rapidly developing at the moment.
The UPU said its study suggested digital services contribute only “modestly” to the bottom line for postal operators, so far accounting for around 1.5% of the average post’s global revenues.
Some posts, though, suggest e-services generate upwards of 30% of revenue.
The top countries for postal e-services at the moment are led by Switzerland, Belarus, Italy, Germany and Qatar, with Tunisia, France, the Republic of Korea, the US and Canada also included among the top 10 nations in the UPU’s study.
UPU director general Edouard Dayan said: “It’s clear that, as physical mail volumes decline, posts are not standing on the sidelines. They are being innovative and making strategic use of new technologies to diversify their products and services to meet customers’ increasingly changing needs.”
The UPU noted that several developing countries had ranked well according to the survey, highlighting Belarus, Brazil, South Africa, Tunisia and the Ukraine within its top 25 index.
It suggested that a country’s innovation capability was more important than its wealth in driving e-services, and that appropriate regulation and supporting infrastructure were also important factors.
The UPU now intends to conduct an e-service survey on a regular basis, it said.

Swiss Post

Swiss Post, which ranked top in the UPU study, said it intends to continue playing a “pioneering role” in digital and hybrid services going forward.
Last year the company’s Swiss Post Solutions unit scanned around 75m pages of paper providing digital mailroom services for its corporate clients including Suva, Allianz Suisse and Raiffeisen, while its Swiss Post Box digital mail service now has 3,000 customers.
Swiss Post, whose next CEO Susanne Ruoff has a background in the IT and telecommunications field, is shifting towards the ambition of allowing all mail recipients the choice of whether to receive their mail physically in their letterbox or digitally through a secure connection.
The company is also expanding its services in distance selling to provide a comprehensive range of offerings for both retailers and consumers, it said.
Source: Post&Parcel

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