Swiss Post is bringing the physical and digital worlds together in an incredibly simple way: its customers can now buy stamps via SMS.
Mrs Müller is sitting on a train, sorting through her e-mails and written correspondence. She quickly signs a letter and puts it in the envelope – all she needs now is a stamp! In order to make life easier for its customers who find themselves in situations like this, Swiss Post has been looking for new ways of franking letters. “Franking a letter should be as simple as possible, wherever you are, at any time of day or night,” says product manager Branka Tesic, describing what a new franking system needs.
Seconds after sending an SMS to 414 with the keyword STAMP, Mrs Müller receives an SMS containing a 12-digit code, which is all she needs: by writing the code in the top right-hand corner of the envelope, her letter is immediately franked. When she reaches her destination, she posts the letter in the first yellow postbox she finds – and it’s all done! Behind this simple franking system is an ingenious idea: a service provider receives the SMS, generates the code and sends it back to the customer immediately. Swisscom provides Swiss Post with its SMS/MMS Business Number Service. The cost of each stamp is automatically added to the customer’s mobile bill. SMS stamps can also be easily obtained using prepaid credit, “non-smart” mobile phones and subscriptions with other mobile providers.
Eight months after the official product launch, Branka Tesic hails the idea as a success: “More and more SMS stamps are being bought. Another good sign is the number of repeat purchases: customers who have used the product once find it so practical that they keep coming back for more. The Swisscom SMS service works very well and the billing system is reliable and seamless. We worked very intensively with Swisscom during the development and test phase. Their experts supported us brilliantly with great commitment and experience. We are now looking into extending the SMS service to other products. Try the service out the next time you get a chance!”