Neopost, Hayward, CA, announced yesterday it received approval from the U.S. Postal Service to begin beta testing PostagePlus in the Washington, D.C. area.
PostagePlus is Neopost's software-only PC Postage product that delivers postage over the Internet to be printed directly onto envelopes with any ink jet or laser printer.
The software package is the second product developed by Neopost's New Technology Group certified by the Postal Service as a PC Postage product to enter beta testing.
PC Stamp, which downloads and stores postage in a small hardware device, began beta testing in the Washington, D.C. area in September 1998 and will soon move into the second phase of field tests in Northern California.
Once consumers install PostagePlus on their PC and establish an account, they can download postage one stamp at a time from a secured Neopost Web site (www.postageplus.com). Postage is printed directly onto envelopes at the same time as the destination and return address in the form of an electronic stamp and a two-dimensional bar code, or indicium.
All PC Postage certified products fall under the Postal Service's Information Based Indicia Program, an integral part of a comprehensive strategy by the Postal Service to provide greater revenue security while supplying additional benefits and convenience to customers.
Other companies that are part of the IBI program are E-Stamp Palo Alto, CA, Stamps.com, Santa Monica, CA, and Pitney Bowes, Stamford, CT.
NeoPost and Stamps.com are the only companies that offer purely Internet-based solutions that do not require hardware devices. Stamps.com’s program, however, is in phase two beta testing right now. In addition, Pitney Bowes is beta testing an online solution called ClickStamp Online, which should move into phase one beta shortly.