In 2010, the South African Post Office consolidated all its information communication technology and electronic-related offerings into a single offering and is now beginning to reap the benefits.
Companies are using the Web to buy parts and supplies from other companies, to collaborate on sales promotions and to do joint research. Exploiting the convenience, availability, and worldwide reach of the Internet, many companies, such as Amazon.com, have been using the Internet successfully for several years.
SA Post Office acting group executive for e-postal Velasen Naidoo said that to keep abreast with these trends the SA Post Office created a Virtual Post Office in 2011 for customers to perform various transactions online. "This focus on e-business has begun to pay off, for example, online postbox renewals grew by 10 percent year on year, while our online Philately offering grew exponentially after its launch."Continue to expand
This year, the Post Office will continue to expand its range of products and services through its eBusiness unit, aimed largely at the Small and Medium Enterprises market as well as consumer products that would normally have been available only at postal outlets.
"At the Virtual Post Office (www.virtutalpostoffice.co.za) our philosophy is: "No queues, no fuss." We offer a convenient alternative to traditional Post Office retail stores, as well as other mainstream online offerings. The Virtual Post Office creates a new dimension in online transactions and redefines the online customer experience," said Naidoo.
Customers are required to register an online profile in order to login and make use of the range of services offered within the Virtual Post Office Service. Its secure online transaction platform offers registered online users a selection of online payments and purchasing options. These currently include:
- Post office products and services: Philately, or stamps; Post box renewals
- Convenience Services
- Postal code lookup
- Update personal address/postal address details
The Virtual Post Office service supports the following payments:
- Credit card payments using Visa or MasterCard
- Standard Bank AutoPay (Registered Standard Bank Internet banking clients only)
- Electronic funds transfer/bank deposits (business profiles only)
Plans are in progress to include a number of products and services which will include:
- Receiving and paying bills online
- eRegistered mail
- Personalised stamps
"Our vision is to showcase what the SA Post Office has to offer to both the domestic and international market, and to create a new perspective on SA Post Office products and services, which will complement existing over-the-counter and telephonic transactions," concluded Naidoo.
For more information on the Virtual Post Office, go to www.virtualpostoffice.co.za