Digital Deflation

Digital deflation

It wasn’t long ago that many touted the benefits of digital mailboxes. Offering an array of services from storing electronic versions of mail to warehousing digital copies of passports, driver’s licenses, and other important documents for greater accessibility on the go, digital mailboxes were set to become a staple in a modern lifestyle. Not every staple, however, has a place in the future, and one particular service recently announced its withdrawal from the business.

Digital Post Australia (DPA) was a promising startup three short years ago when digital mailboxes were seen as the next evolutionary step in mail delivery. As reviewed in a 2013 article, the service, replete with bank-level encryption, was offered free to customers. Times have changed, however, and a recent email to subscribers proves that the service may not yet be a viable business model.

In its letter, DPA states, “After three years of working to revolutionise the way mail is delivered in Australia, we have made the very difficult decision to close Digital Post Australia. All of us at Digital Post Australia think that digital postboxes are a great idea, but without enough senders supporting this channel our service is just not sustainable at this point in time.”

The email also announced July 31 as the official closure date of the service. In a related article, Zumbox, another digital mail service provider, recently announced the closure of its service.

While the concept of digital mail might be an interesting one for individuals who want to access their documents anywhere in the world, the business model may not yet offer a compelling solution for profitability.

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3 Comments

  1. grannybunny

     /  July 7, 2014

    I suspect that there is a place for digital mail, but it would have to be done by a trustworthy entity with the computer capability to handle such a large-scale undertaking. I tried Zumbox — to the limited extent of seeing what others would choose to send me through that means — but it never worked correctly, which is, probably, why it failed. They contacted me and said I had an already-established account — based on my physical mailing address — and that all I had to do was go online and set up my password and profile. I did so, but the passwords never worked, always requiring the “forgotten password” and resetting process, and rarely was there anything in my mailbox anyway, so I quit even trying to use it. I believe that USPS — on the other hand — could make such a process work, if it only had the capital resources to establish it.

  2. Anonymous

     /  July 8, 2014

    If it only had the capital resources… that can be said of everything in the Post Office !!
    USPS is a hurting unit…

  3. Jonn

     /  July 8, 2014

    USPS is in the perfect position to try digital mail. I hope the company is looking at ways to expand digital services. It can close all the facilities it wants, but that won’t generate more cash. New services will. Are they still blocked by congress from trying new ideas? Congress – allow USPS to expand its services and it would be opening more facilities instead of closing them. Take your hands out of big business pockets and use them to do some good for a change. Thank you!

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