NZ Post will launch a free “digital post service”, YouPost, this year to let people view, manage and pay bills online and receive some mail electronically.
The initiative comes six years after NZ Post pulled the plug on its eBill service which also let people view and pay bills online, because of a lack of uptake. EBill was launched with a fanfare in 1999 and attracted support from 21 utilities and other billers but had only 14,500 users when it closed.
NZ Post’s digital head, Simone Iles, said YouPost was designed to handle mail-outs as well as bills and she believed it would be different this time round.
YouPost would have more bells and whistles, including iPhone and Android app versions, and would better integrate with utilities’ existing systems, she said.
Yet to take a look at this, but having it on smartphones is near essential. The BNZ app for the iPhone is superb. I can log in under ten seconds and pay someone within a minute.
YouPost users will set up an account with a username and password, register their home address and any other properties they are responsible for and list their desired payment methods.
They will then be able to logon to receive, manage, store and pay bills from multiple providers, and to receive digital copies of other mail from utilities in a separate mail box.
Bills will be accessible for up to eight years and a free one gigabyte “electronic vault” will let users backup documents such as legal documents and warranties and set reminders of when things like passports, drivers’ licences, credit cards and vehicle warrants of fitness were due to expire.
Iles said NZ Post later planned to open up the system so small businesses could also use it to send bills and mail to customers.
NZ Post had signed up several major “foundation customers” and was testing the system internally ahead of a pre-Christmas launch.
The service will be free to consumers and paid for by organisations that use it to send bills and mail.
If it is free, I’ll give it a blast!
Good to see NZ Post realising that snail mail is a dying business.