Australia Post has launched its Digital MailBox service, positioned as a secure, online delivery channel for bills and official correspondence between consumers and their service providers.
The free service is underpinned by Telstra's cloud infrastructure and forms part of a $2 billion effort to modernise in the face of falling mail revenue.
Australia Post has been racing competitor Digital Post for what Morgan Stanley analysts expect to be a $138 million digital mail market, based on predictions that a fifth of domestic letters will migrate to the digital channel.
Digital Post claimed to have access to 70 percent of the market for physical mail through shareholders Computershare and Salmat.
Government-owned Australia Post today said its launch partners represented “more than 70 percent of the mail volume for Australia’s top ten mailers”.
Australia Post’s launch partners included Telstra, AMP, Westpac, ANZ, NAB, the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Yarra Valley Water, and share registry Link Market Services.
The Digital MailBox service was launched by Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, who said the Australian Taxation Office and Department of Human Services would explore opportunities to use it for communicating with citizens.
Australia Post also plans to use the MailBox to communicate with its 30,000 employees.
Earlier this month, Digital Post chief executive officer Randy Dean expected digital mail to cost businesses 60 to 70 percent less than regular mail.
Digital Post has priced its delivery service at $0.15 per letter. The service is expected to launch by the end of the calendar year.
Dean expected businesses to take up more than one digital mailbox service, with consumers driving the success of either Digital Post, Australia Post’s Digital MailBox or competitors as the market matured.
“What the consumer needs is three to five documents on a monthly basis [for a digital mailbox to be useful],” he said. “I think you can very quickly get to a critical mass.”
Commonwealth Bank – the only of the big four banks to have refrained from signing on to the Australia Post service so far – offers a similar, secure lockbox for its customers, allowing them to store up to 1000 files on its servers, without defining a storage limit.