E-Stamp Expands Net Postage Solution

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E-Stamp Corp., San Mateo, CA, an Internet postage services provider, said this week that it has received approval from the U.S. Postal Service to expand testing of its new browser-based Internet postage service, E-Stamp Online. The service will be released later this year.

E-Stamp Online, which requires no hardware or software download, will allow customers to buy and print postage from the E-Stamp Web site, www.estamp.com. Currently, Stamps.com, Santa Monica, CA, is the only USPS-approved e-postage company to sell purely downloadable postage off the Net.

E-Stamp said its new solution - which is targeted at businesses with broadband Internet connections as well as at consumers - does not require users to download large software files onto their desktop. Customers simply visit e-stamp.com, download a small print plug-in, purchase postage and begin printing stamps using a standard laser or inkjet printer.

"E-Stamp Online will provide a tremendous customer acquisition tool for the company since it will be the only barrier-free platform for the trial and use of Internet postage," said E-Stamp president/CEO Robert H. Ewald. "With other software-only services, customers are still required to download and store large files on their desktop, limiting ease-of-use and mobility."

E-Stamp will begin field testing the service with businesses and consumers this month through the USPS' information-based indicia program.

E-Stamp this week also unveiled an enhanced version of its desktop solution called E-Stamp Internet Postage, Version 1.1, which features credit card support for purchasing postage, increased printer support and enhanced product and online tools. The company's current product allows customers to buy postage and store it securely on a small device called an electronic vault, enabling the printing of digital stamps without maintaining a persistent connection to the Internet.

An agreement with Canada Post Corp. last month also expands E-Stamp into the international postage market.

In related news, Neopost Inc., Hayward, CA, debuted Neopost Online Inc., www.neopostonline.com, a wholly owned subsidiary created to develop global Internet-based shipping and mailing solutions for the small office/home office and consumer markets.

Currently, NeoPost has a family of E-postage products for the SOHO market: Simply Postage, PC Stamp and PostagePlus. Last year, NeoPost began selling Simply Postage, an e-postage product that uses its own hardware, software and an Internet browser and a printing device to allow customers to print postage off the Internet. It's additional products, PC Stamp and PostagePlus, can be used with standard inkjet printers and are being beta-tested in several major metro areas through the USPS' IBIP and are expected to be available commercially later this year.

The new subsidiary assumes the management responsibilities of Simply Postage, in addition to the development of new technologies. It will be relocated to Redwood Shores, CA, from the corporate offices in Hayward, CA.

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