ViaPost-A New Way to Mail

ViaPost allows you to send physical post via your PC, saving money and carbon emissions.

It’s as easy as installing a driveron your Windows machine and printing it using the “Send to ViaPost” option. They’ll print it nearer it’s final location and then stamp it for the final past of it’s journey, apparently reducing overall emissions by 80%…and for a starting price of 27p!

If you can’t install the driver, you can use the ViaPost WebPortal to manually upload documents and mailing lists and there’s also an API for you developers out there 🙂 

This sounds like quite an ingenious idea and I’ll be interested to see how it catches on as it is effectively another type of outsourcing for businesses. This service can save business the time and cost of folding, stuffing and mailing their own invoices, direct mailers etc (something Viapost estimate to cost 50p per letter); however I think a lot of people will be wary of sending anything personal/financial through this channel due to worries around data security-at least initially. The FAQ states:

Security information:
“As soon as you press “Send it ViaPost™” within the ViaPost print driver your letter will be securely encrypted by the software. This means that your letter cannot be read by others whilst in transit and will be printed automatically and securely at the ViaPost print facility closest to the destination address. If you have any questions please email security@viapost.com.”

Perhaps the biggest downside at the minute is that it takes 3 days for a letter to be delivered-which in many cases could be too long. Again from the FAQs:

Why does it take three days?
At the moment, we operate to the following print cycle: Day 0: You send your letter. Day 1: We print your letter. Day 2: We deliver to Royal Mail local office. Day 3: Royal Mail deliver to the door. Our aim will be to print your letter and deliver it to Royal Mail the same day you send it, so it will be delivered by the postman the next day. We hope to soon offer this service for addresses in London, later rolling out to the rest of the country.

Once they can get the letters received, printed and with Royal Mail within a day-that will make it an even more viable alternative to how we do things now.

I saw this over on Steve Clayton’s blog and would like to say I wish his friends all the best in this venture as it could make a real difference!

It’s all based on .NET and is another great example of how Microsoft software can help make new, fresh ideas a reality so Go change the World ViaPost 🙂

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