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Tuesday, 27 March 2012 10:57

Coming soon from Aus Post: digital mailboxes and 24 hour superstores

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Australia Post has announced plans for new retail 'superstores' that will incorporate 24 hour vending machines and a free Digital Mailbox service that will give all Australians a secure online repository into which businesses and government departments can deposit bills and other important documents.

Australia Post chairman, David Mortimer, said: "The Australia Post Digital Mailbox will allow businesses, government entities and customers to communicate through a secure online portal that can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, wherever they are.

"Just as the traditional letterbox has been a vital part of people's communications for the past 200 years, we think a personal digital mailbox for every Australian is the perfect complement to the letterbox in this online revolution."

Australians can register for an Australia Post Digital Mailbox at auspost.com.au/digital-post. Australia Post said the service would be launched during 2012.

iTWire has not been able at the time of writing to obtain any information on the technology behind the service. However, as iTWire reported last year Pitney Bowes Business Insights last year launched a similar service in the US.

The new superstores will have a 24-hour zone with vending machines, parcel lockers and self-service terminals, as well as a Harvey World Travel store, an American Express currency exchange outlet and a concierge to help customers.

They will give customers around-the-clock access to post and collect parcels, pay for postage, purchase stamps and packaging products, pay bills and use an Australia Post ATM. They will also have Apple Macs, iPads and digital screens to allow customers to shop or research online, arrange their parcel delivery electronically and navigate key products and services. Australia Post said it planned to open 30 around the country, but has not given a timeframe

Australia Post sees these stores as the key nexus between Australians' physical and digital lives. Managing director and CEO, Ahmed Fahour, said: "With our parcel volumes growing a staggering 13 percent since July last year due to online shopping, our superstores are where people's physical lives will connect with their digital lives."

"With online shopping booming, Australians have told us they want to be able to collect their parcels at a time and place that suits them. Following successful parcel locker trials in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane we are now extending parcel lockers to a total of 10 sites, with plans for a national rollout to further expand this service.

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