Apr 4, 2012
The Volly secure digital delivery system from Pitney Bowes Inc. has been selected to power the recently-announced Australia Post Digital MailBox. Bernie Gracy, External Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Business Development at Volly briefed InfoTrends on the announcement this morning. “Australia Post has undertaken highly-rigorous due diligence over the last few months and this is clearly the platform they want to build their user experience on,” stated Gracy. “One of the reasons [for us] to partner with Australia Post is that they think of themselves as a digital company first.”
Australia Post Digital MailBox is slated for launch at the end of Q3, 2012. Volly’s name will be branded on the business-facing material; however, it will not be used in consumer-facing branding. Pitney Bowes will handle preference management, identity, and the onboarding process, while Australia Post will focus on optimizing the user experience for the Australian market. As a result, the Australia Post Digital MailBox will have a different look and feel from Volly in the U.S. (slated for launch at end of Q4, 2012). Australia Post will build its own features on top of Volly’s core platform, customizing it as needs for its own customers.
Here is a view of what the Volly consumer home page will look like in the U.S.:
Australia Post is the first national postal service to incorporate Volly and signals that Pitney Bowes plans to compete internationally by licensing its platform. In my recent update on e-Boks, I noted that licensed platform providers stand to make substantial inroads in 2012 as a result of significant attention across postal providers and from opportunistic investors. Competitors to Pitney Bowes internationally include e-Boks, Accenture (which uses Brite:bill technology), and Zumbox. In fact, what makes this announcement even more interesting is that it means the Pitney Bowes/Zumbox rivalry is expanding from the United States to Australia. It was just last month that Zumbox announced the launch of Digital Post Australia with service bureau partners Computershare Limited and Salmat.
With Australia Post Digital MailBox, you have the strength of the Australia Post brand–which ranked 2nd in a 2011 AMR Reptrak brand reputation study in Australia.
With Digital Post Australia, you have the two largest service bureaus in the country–which control the production of the vast majority of transactional mail delivered through Australia Post.
If you are already confused by who is behind each service, you’re not alone. (Note that Digital Post Australia went to market first; however, Australia Post is suing the company arguing that the name will falsely give Australians the perception that Digital Post Australia is part of Australia Post.)
Naming aside, the 22.3 million person Australian market is significantly more manageable than larger, more fragmented, economies like the United States. Our consumer research shows that a digital mailbox service needs to have at least 60% of a consumer’s bills and statements accessible through it before attracting the masses. With a highly-concentrated population, high percentage of consumers with broadband Internet access, and a high density of billers in key categories, Australia is poised for rapid adoption of digital mailbox services.
Expect vigorous competition between the Australia Post Digital MailBox and Digital Post Australia in the market (and in the courts) as the companies fight to sign up businesses and attract consumers.
Since completion of our recent study, The Emergence of Digital Mailbox Services, InfoTrends continues to track, present on, and consult for the digital mailbox services market.
More blogs from Matt Swain