Like it or not, the Internet’s variety of communication tools have paved the way to extinction for tangible letters. But even though its popularity has been drastically decreased, snail mail still serves a purpose – and it’s now getting an electronic makeover.
Sweden is developing a way for citizens to pay for postage via SMS. This means that buying, licking, and applying stamps could be a thing of the past. Consumers will be able to text the post office requesting the appropriate amount of postage their shipment requires and will then billed automatically and sent a code via text. This code will serve as their stamps, and can simply be written on the letter or package (which has to weigh under around 4.5 pounds).
According to The Local, head of marketing and development for the Swedish postal service Anders Asberg says the system isn’t currently in place but “We’re very interested and are just now looking into a solution.” He also adds that those trying to skip out on postal payments are out of luck, as postal service scanners will still be in place to make sure the codes are legitimate. Asberg claims that one it is introduced, the new technology won’t increase postal rates. Denmark will also institute this texting system, beginning April 1.
On one hand, it always tugs at your nostalgic side when something as familiar as stamps become antiquated. But on the other, heavier hand, this kind of technology could eliminate just one more tedious errand from to-do lists everywhere. How many times have you scrambled to find a stamp to send in a rent check or pay a water bill (for those of us who don’t have landlords or power companies that have made the transition to online payment plans)? This is more than shallow instant gratification, this is instant efficiency – and we hope to see it stateside in the future. And don’t feel too bad for your local post office. It might even be a boon for the industry, which could see more willing customers by eliminating one step in the mailing process.