Zumbox 2.0 delivers postal revolution

Zumbox has announced the availability of the second generation of its Zumbox paperless postal system and a key agreement a business process outsourcing (BPO) company in the US that could revolutionise mass mailouts from government and financial institutions.

“The transition to digital postal mail won't happen overnight, but it will certainly happen over time,” said John Payne, CEO of Zumbox.

“The financial and environmental benefits are very obvious, but the real key is the convenience to every household of having postal mail automatically delivered and filed digitally in a permanent central repository with instant notifications and reminders, all based upon verified identity and unique residential address.”

Zumbox Digital postal mail is an exact facsimile of paper mail - created from a diversion of the print stream before it reaches a large mailing system - that is presented and archived digitally for consumers in a secure online environment instead of on paper.

In Zumbox digital postal mail is delivered automatically from large transactional, financial and government mailers and is stored permanently online for consumer households. It replaces the need for mailboxes, file drawers and bankers boxes with a central, secure digital repository for household mail and documents. The availability of automatic long term archiving will have an enormous effect on how households choose between paper and paperless mail delivery in the future.

The company claims a glass ceiling exists on paperless adoption rates in the US, hindered by the perception of US consumers that they need paper records for their long term files. While 76 percent of U.S. households are online, in most industries only five to 15 percent stop the corresponding paper mail from being delivered to their house.

“Those consumers believe they need their paper mail for record-keeping. They believe Web sites only keep their records for six to nine months and that they will incur expensive fees if they need the records after that time. And they fear returning to sites scattered all over the Internet with many different logins and not finding the records they need. They cling to paper out of fear. That glass ceiling can be broken by providing a central, secure and long term online location for the delivery, storage and access of digital postal mail.”

A Zumbox account has been created for every street address in the United States. Users open their Zumbox account by signing up and entering their residence address at www.zumbox.com, which generates a verification code that is delivered to their residence via the US Postal Service. Upon returning and entering this verification code, users are given full access to all mail sent to their Zumbox.

Digital postal mail delivered by large mailers such as DST Output appears in confidential, sealed digital envelopes in Zumbox until the user verifies his or her account, at which point their mail can be opened. The paper versions of that mail continue until the user is comfortable enough with this new channel to click the “Paperless Please” button in Zumbox to suppress paper delivery.

Digital postal mail has powerful interactive features that facilitate the entire mail lifecycle, including reminders and notifications of due dates and events, rich media to enhance customer communication and powerful tagging and metadata to enhance the filing, search and long term storage of household mail and documents.

Zumbox also announced immediate availability of its High Volume Transactional Output (HVTO) APIs, a powerful set of read/write Application Program Interfaces (APIs) designed for large transactional mailers, 3rd party software developers and mailing systems manufacturers.

Other new features include the Zumbox Mobile Reader, a mobile Web app now available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile and other smartphones that lets users view new and archived mail from anywhere while they are on the go at mobile.zumbox.com. Zumbox 2.0 also provides tools to help mail recipients in the transition to digital postal mail. Paperless Please requests migrate paper mail online and stop junk mail.

Because paper postal mail will continue for a while, Zumbox now also provides simple, effective tools for scanning, Web-clipping, uploading or otherwise archiving paper mail, Web receipts and household documents online. These are filed digitally in each Zumbox alongside digital postal mail so all the household mail and documents are stored together in one place. Each user can add up to 500 digitised documents per month in a secure, private online postal storage system for free and all mail delivered digitally is stored forever, for free.

Zumbox claims it is widely understood by mailers that e-mail, an open system consisting of 90 percent spam and the source of most Trojan, phishing and malicious PDF code events, is not a solution for digital postal mail delivery.

It has signed an agreement with DST Output, a subsidiary of DST Systems, Inc. that delivers almost 3 billion print and electronic mail pieces to more than 120 million street addresses in the United States on behalf of its clients every year. Under the agreement, DST Output clients, who include some of the country’s largest transactional mailers, can offer their customers the choice to receive and archive their bills, statements, disclosures, and other communication as digital postal mail via Zumbox.