Published: Friday 31 October 1997

Stamp on the NetAn electronic postage stamp is being developed in the US that Internet users could buy with a click of the mouse instead of walking down to the neighbourhood post office. A firm led by an Indian American is expected to produce the system that would enable users to generate electronic postage using their PCs and printers.

With this, E-Stamp Corporation, which calls itself an Internet post office company, has announced the launch of beta testing for its product, E-Stamp. The beta test is being undertaken after negotiations with the United States Postal Service (USPS).

For subscribing E-Stamp's services, users would be supplied with E-Stamp's software, a postage security device (PSD) on which postage is stored, and a USPS address matching system that comes on a CD-ROM. According to Sunir Kapoor, chief executive officer of E-Stamp, the company is expecting to sell stamps on the Internet early next year.

E-Stamp's software will allow users to print postage directly on envelopes or labels while printing addresses. When postage runs low, or runs out, on the PSD, users can refill it over the Internet using their personal identification number (PIN).

The postage would look as if the seal embossed by a conventional franking machine but would store more information, using two-dimensional bar-coding. Using what is called the Information-based Indicia, the system's software would also generate the destination address, return address, registration number, transaction ID, postage licence number and the amount of postage remaining in the user's E-Stamp account.

Kapoor said, "With the significant partnerships in place, and our software in the final stage of the USPS approval process, we have substantially advanced our vision of building a solid infrastructure for PC postage." He said that the development of electronic postage will enable E-Stamp exploit huge the market.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.