Postal organizations aiming to diversify their business are now bringing value-add mobile postal transactions — right to their customer’s doorstep.
As part of their business transformation, Posts are turning to mobile to open up new revenue streams, create more jobs, and redefine their position in our increasingly digital society.
Rethinking the Role of Mail Carriers
As society has changed, so too has the role of the mail carrier.
In addition to providing reliable delivery services, mail carriers are now providing the first line of engagement, helping customers perform transactions from the convenience of their own home.
This customer-centric approach is enabling Posts to develop supplementary revenue streams to strengthen their current position, while also giving them the flexibility to offer premium services to customers, both current and new.
In addition, most Posts have implemented initiatives to offer complementary services for government and enterprise, such as bill payments, government services, and licenses collections. This strategy concentrates on improving the customer experience in both the branch network and online.
However, another important area remains largely untapped—the mail carrier.
As the face of the postal organization, the men and women who deliver post and parcels are trusted, reliable, and with established connections with the community. With the infrastructure already in place, now is the time to capitalize on it.
The Need for Mobile Postal Transactions
So, what’s driving the need for mobile postal transactions?
As mentioned, the branch network has refreshed its image.
In response to customer expectations for fast, always-on services, it now offers omni-channel services, mobile Point of Service, smart kiosks, and other innovations.
So, when we discuss the future of the post office, the conversation typically centers around improving this physical network, and to a lesser degree, its online presence.
But the post office is more than its branch network, extensive though it may be.
In most countries, it consists of a tremendous workforce delivering mail and parcels to the four corners of the country, most days of the week—but convenient transaction services remains untapped.
By services, we mean any activity you’d typically perform at the post office. For example, send money, receive a pension, or renew a license.
Previously, the impediment was mostly technical.
How could you connect to the post office system, access records, and make secure transactions?
Today, these riddles are solved.
In a nutshell: Instead of customers going to the post office, you can now bring the post office to your customers.
As a total solution’s provider to the postal industry, Escher is equipping mail carriers with transaction-enabled mobile devices, powered with the tools to offer products, services, and support.
Who benefits from these services?
Busy on-the-go professionals, under-banked customers, rural small businesses, tourists, and more.
For example, many customers are unable to visit the post office for different reasons, at least not as frequently as they’d like.
In remote areas, elderly customers may not have the ability to visit the closest branch. Or when they do, may not have the necessary documents or identification with them to perform services.
Millennials who prefer to do things online typically have few direct postal needs, but may use other services if brought to their attention, for example, when dropping off parcels at their home.
Others are simply too busy to visit the closest post office during working hours.
To attract and retain individuals unable to visit the local post office, mail carriers can use transaction-powered mobile devices to offer different services, typically when making deliveries.
This allows Posts to extend the value of the delivery network—to strengthen the last mile.
In short: It appeals to customers either unaware or unable to access postal services.
Instead of waiting for them to come to the post office, by equipping mail carriers with mobile tools, the mobile postal workforce can deliver transaction services wherever they interact with customers—at home, at work.
In addition to parcel and mail deliveries, mail carriers can introduce complementary services to recipients when they meet them, including items from their own product lines or third-party products.
Post vehicles can also be brought to ‘life’. Armed with sensors and other tracking devices, they can proactively gather valuable data from their delivery routes to share with third parties for commercial or research purposes.
Example of Mobile Postal Services
The Internet, mobile, and eCommerce have reinvented front line roles for postal workers.
Posts can now perform government and enterprises services at the customer’s physical address.
This includes payment distribution, license collections, social welfare, eCommerce transactions, VAT collections on deliveries, checking meters, as well as data gathering for air quality, traffic, congestion from sensors installed in their postal vehicles.
Today this is already happening. Several posts have introduced plans to provide mobile postal services.
- Correos, the Spanish postal company, uses their mail workforce to collect data for the municipality of Santander.
- Bpost, in Belgium, plan to use their vehicles to measure air quality.
By digitizing paper-based application forms, governments can work with posts can help customers apply for, pay, and renew different licenses. This ensures that governments receive payments faster, have better visibility of their citizens, and can improve the collections process.
5 Steps to New Postal Opportunities
Leveraging investments in digital transformation, mobile postal services are opening the possibility for job creation, new lines of business, and reinvigorating the postal workforce.
To capitalize on mobile postal opportunities, Posts should consider the following steps:
- Initiating customer engagement to introduce the concept of mobile services
- Equipping postal workers with the right tools (weatherproof, resilient, low bandwidth) for mobile postal businesses
- Identifying services that offer the best value to customers and are most likely to be adopted
- Collaborate with government and businesses to develop mobile-facing solutions
- Digitize existing manual processes to reduce costs and improve data collection, for example, using smart forms to capture citizen data
By bringing the post office to the customer’s doorstep, mail carriers can leverage their daily involvement with customers with convenient mobile postal transactions, adding sustainable business lines to the core business.
At Escher, we’re helping the Postal Service to strategically grow its core business, and build on its existing strengths to meet future customer needs.