Today, An Post launched the world’s first digital stamp, accessible to anyone via the An Post app. Gone are the days of routing through boxes in the kitchen or digging out albums to look for stamps just to send your letters. With this new feature, it’s as easy as purchasing a digital stamp on the An Post app and handwriting the 12-digit code on your envelope (where the stamp would normally go).
The purpose of this product is to better accommodate those who may need to send a letter at an irregular hour and may not have access to a stamp. The stamps are also confirmed to be fully compatible with An Post’s next-day delivery promise within the country. Customers will get delivery confirmation by text or email.
Ned O’Hara, the Head of the Irish Postmaster’s Union (IPU), claims that postmasters would prefer if this was not needed. He believes most customers will still use physical stamps. Regardless of his beliefs, more accessibility to postal services will always be a good thing. The IPU will look to the Government for additional change if the stamps have a noticeable impact on the post office business. Mr O’Hara also alleges that digital stamps will reduce overall stamp sales, but this is a “digital challenge that we have to address”.
It is very likely that the elderly, as well as disabled people, will get excellent use from this. Digital stamps are an added convenience that we will likely see other postal services internationally replicate. Additionally, stamps that are said to be “wet” or “dirty” are not recyclable – so the implementation of digital stamps will reduce unnecessary waste in that regard.
According to An Post, their verification system for the 12-digit stamp codes is cutting-edge. Their sorting technology only works with “correctly acquired” digital stamp codes. As of now, An Post’s digital stamps can also only be used domestically in the Republic of Ireland.
The price for these stamps begins at €2, slightly more expensive than the €1.25 for a standard physical envelope stamp. Larger envelopes, such as A4 size paper envelopes, are a little more expensive at €3.80 per stamp. This is a more considerable margin than the €2.10 would pay for a physical stamp for an envelope of that size. The given reason for the higher price tag is the delivery confirmation.
You can download the An Post app from both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store below.