The French Post Office announces the digital stamp: a world first innovation, which will allow you to frank your mail from your computer or your phone. How it works, advantages, price, release date… find out everything you need to know about this novelty!
The France and its public service have not always know how to take the digital turn. In some areas where we once excelled, we are now overtaken by other countries that are more daring in innovation.
However, The Post Office announces today a new feature unheard of on a worldwide scale: the Digital Stamp. An original idea which aims to make enter the mail in the era of time.
Indeed, in just two decades, digital technology has totally transformed our habits around mail. From now on, emails have largely replaced letters and postcards. A “great letter replacement” accentuated by the rise of social networks and messaging apps like Telegram.
Obviously, The Post Office must modernize in order not to disappear at the same time as the paper mail. On June 28, 2022, the group announced an investment of 800 million euros by 2025 in the digitalization of its business.
The aim of this investment is to modernize the distribution network, increase La Poste’s territorial presence, and adapt it to new digital uses. It will make it possible to finance several projects, including the “digital stamp.
Table of contents
What is the Digital Stamp ?
The digital stamp aims to replace the traditional stamp to stick on the envelopes. Thanks to this innovation, it will be enough from now on to write a code on the envelope to frank it.
To buy a digital stamp and get the code, you just have to go to on the website of La Poste or its mobile application. This will allow you to frank your mail quietly from your home or anywhere via mobile.
What is the purpose of the digital stamp? What is the interest?
The digital stamp brings several advantages, both for the public and for the Post Office. For the customers, it will allow to save time since it will no longer be necessary to go and buy stamps in a post office or tobacco shop.
The process of sending a mail will thus be largely simplified. However, it is possible to have stamps delivered to your home or to print them for several years.
From now on, it will be possible to just a smartphone to postage his mail in the blink of an eye. This innovation will also be particularly useful during vacations, or any other trip far from home. Moreover, it will be possible to buy a stamp even at night.
Another advantage : the digital stamp allows to frank an envelope at the rate of a green letter. His price is 1,16 euro for letters whose weight does not exceed 20 grams.
For the Post Office, this is a way to modernize and to offer a new, more accessible postage solution. This simplicity could encourage more people to return to paper mail, and thus expand the group’s customer base.
How does the digital stamp work?
The digital stamp is presented in the form of a alphanumeric code composed of eight characterspresented in groups of two. The code is generated on the website or the application as soon as the purchase is made on the online store of La Poste.
The user only has to copy the code on the envelope with a pen, at the place where the classic stamp is stuck. From then on, the letter is ready to be slipped into a mailbox to be mailed.
It is however necessary to write the code in a clean and readable wayon a single line and if possible with a ballpoint pen. The code is read by the distribution network using a optical character recognition systemlike the one that already allows to read the address.
The code must therefore be written cleanly to avoid errors made by cameras and software. In case of error, the teams of the Post Office will be able to correct manually.
What are the cybersecurity risks?
The creation of the alphanumeric code generator was entrusted to Probayes: a subsidiary of the group La Poste since 2016.
This artificial intelligence specialist creates algorithms resulting from the cryptography. In particular, he contributed to the improvement of the automatic address reading system on envelopes in 2017.
In order to maximize security, the Post Office has implemented a mechanism for each code to be single-use. A digital stamp can only be used onceand the code reading system will be able to check. In addition, each digital stamp will have an expiration time.
The end of the classic postage stamps?
Of course, the digital stamp will not replace the classic postal stamp. Many people do not have a computer or a smartphone, and will be able to continue to buy their stamps at the Post Office or at the tobacco shop. It will also remain possible to have stamps delivered or printed.
In addition, the digital stamp will not be usable only in France at first. For the sendings in Europe or in the international, it will be necessary to continue to use the classic stamps.
Digital stamp : price and release date
The digital stamp will be charged at the price of 1,16 euro. Its sale is planned for 2023even if the exact date is not yet defined.
Until then, the Post Office plans to continue to conduct tests and experiments to detect any technical or logistical problems.