Pitney Bowes Digitizes Meters, Starts New Payment System

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Mailing company Pitney Bowes Inc. said yesterday that it has installed digital technology into its postal meters that will connect them to postal and carrier information systems.

The technology will let Pitney Bowes' business customers track mail pieces, as well as get delivery confirmation and rate information via the Internet. It will be available in the company's DM200 and DM300 meter products, among others. Pitney Bowes, Stamford, CT, said the upgrade should help reduce its customers' operational costs.

The firm developed the technology inhouse and will spend $200 million to $250 million on its implementation. The cost will be a noncash charge related to assets associated with lease residuals, rentals and inventories.

Pitney Bowes also said it has started a new foreign currency payment service that provides small to midsize businesses in the United States a new way to make payments in more than 60 foreign currencies.

The service, called Pitney Bowes International Payments, allows customers to pay international vendors, suppliers or employees in their local currency using the telephone or a fax to wire or draft funds directly from their existing business bank account.

Pitney Bowes International Payments confirms all transactions by e-mail with details and costs stated in U.S. dollars.

The system also offers competitive exchange rates and a low transaction fee. Customers can manage payments in over 60 foreign currencies.

To use the system, customers complete a registration form to set up the account, and then call or fax the Pitney Bowes Bank to initiate foreign currency payments. Pitney Bowes then communicates with the customer's bank to complete the transaction.

Story reported by Melissa Campanelli and Chris Heine

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