Electronic bill payment and presentment has been a topic surrounding the transactional print space for nearly a decade. New technologies and solutions target consumer appeal to electronic inboxes and offer providers with another communication channel, which in some instances may reduce the reliance on print.
"The biggest challenge to high-volume mail from an industry perspective is the emergence of fragmented communication channels," suggests Teresa Zwiener, VP of product management, CSG Systems International. She explains that as customer preferences evolve from postal notifications to include new delivery channels—including electronic fixed and mobile platforms, emerging electronic initiatives—including digital mailboxes—are expected to impact the high-volume mailing industry as it continues to evolve to embrace alternative communications channels.
Several electronic mailbox solutions have cropped up in the past few years. Each are designed to help consumers manage their daily mail loads, while offering providers increased communication capabilities. In part three of our print and mail Web series, we highlight these electronic mailbox solutions.
doxo is marketed to consumers as a digital file cabinet. It enables users to add accounts from its directory or create folders to store important documents. After accounts are added, users view pre-populated details about providers. Folders—such as tax, legal, or receipts—are created to store anything not related to an account. Since documents are organized by account and folder, it is easy to locate them.
The doxo Desktop application provides users with a quick way to get groups of documents into the program. Once in doxo, documents are backed up to the computer—organized and saved just as they appear in the program. For each account, there is a way to track and manage information in one place—from passwords and account details to notes and customer support numbers.
One benefit of doxo is that it is accessible from anywhere from a computer or Apple iPhone. Advantages of doxo are improved when new providers join. Users can connect file cabinets to select providers to receive and pay directly on doxo, as well as opt to turn off paper mail.
Providers can leverage doxo to send documents, receive payments, gain marketing insights, manage identity, and send updates. Customers connect directly with providers on doxo by sending a Connect request, from there, providers approve each request on a control panel or automate using a doxo Connect API.
Manilla is an online service that allows users to manage household and financial accounts, travel rewards programs, and subscriptions in one secure place. Service providers pay a small fee for mail to be delivered through Manilla.
Accounts available on Manilla include all major cell phone carriers; most cable, satellite, and telecom providers; many of the nation’s largest banks; nearly 200 utility companies, all major airline, hotel, and auto loyalty programs; and most major credit cards, such as Citibnak, CapitalOne, and American Express.
In addition to account management with one password, Manilla automatically retrieves, sorts, organizes, and files account documents. The site enables users to store documents for as long as necessary. They are encrypted and held in secure facilities and available 24/7. Deleting a document acts as shredding.
To ensure accounts are secure, Manilla uses bank-level security with similar SSL 128-bit encryption and physical security that banks use. The practices are monitored and verified by TRUSTe, Verisign, MacAfee, and other security agencies.
Pitney Bowes introduced Volly earlier this year. Volly is designed to offers businesses the power to integrate customer communications—physical and digital—into one efficient and comprehensive mailstream.
For consumers, Volly provides a a secure digital online service that enables users to receive bills, statements, coupons, catalogs, and promotions digitally, and empowers them to pay those bills—using checking accounts or credit cards—all from one site.
For businesses, Volly is a just-in-time tool to help mange printing and mailing costs. Volly also helps organizations meet customer demand for more control over mail—both digital and physical—letting them choose when, where, and how they receive information. Most importantly, with Volly, business are able to integrate physical and digital mail into one comprehensive and efficient mailstream.
The Volly digital delivery service offers the potential to provide substantial cost savings while building stronger customer relationships. With Volly’s flexibility, high-volume mailers are able to meet the growing demand for low-cost digital delivery without disappointing those consumers who prefer paper-based communications.
Zumbox provides a platform for digital postal systems. It connects large transactional, financial, and government mailers to consumer households for the delivery and storage of digital postal mail via the Internet. Digital postal mail is an exact facsimile of paper mail created from a redirection of the print stream delivered to a secure, centralized digital mailbox and including convenient, powerful interactive features.
Zumbox is certified by Verisign and TRUSTe and complies with PCI, HIPAA, and BITS security standards.
The platform is available through print service providers such as DST Output, KUBRA, and 3i Infotech as well as on a direct basis to the largest mailers in the country. For every U.S. street address, there is a corresponding Zumbox—a digital mailbox—enabling mail and other content to be sent as digital files and received online.
In addition to operating the Zumbox digital postal system, through its Zumbox Software subsidiary, the company licenses the Zumbox Platform to operators outside the U.S.
The Digital Mailbox
Digital mailboxes present a win-win solution for consumers and their trusted providers. They provide a way for users to manage everyday communications in order to get a handle on both digital and physical mailings. Additionally, providers are able to respond to customer demands and connect on multiple levels.
The physical mailpiece is still relevant and necessary in today’s world. However, it’s all about reaching the right recipient at the right time and through the best channel. Sometimes, it takes a combination of digital and physical mailboxes to truly convey a message across