Singapore future-proofs traditional postal system with smart kiosks
SINGAPOREANS can now send registered mail 24 hours in a day, without needing to rely on over-the-counter staff, courtesy of the newly revamped SAM kiosks in the country’s first-ever Smart Post Office.
The new SAM omnichannel platform comprises kiosks, web and mobile apps that “essentially places a post office virtually in the pockets of every customer to offer flexibility and efficiency that are expected by customers today,” said SingPost in a news release.
“The GPO is SingPost’s first Smart Post Office, in which traditional brick-and-mortar outlets are augmented by a digital network that offers anytime and anywhere access to postal and other essential services.”
Located in the SingPost Centre mall, the “future-ready” kiosks offer a modern, user-friendly interface on high resolution, responsive touch-screens powered by Apple iPads.
New capabilities include a weighing scale that helps senders determine the postage required for mail, automated sending of registered articles, and SingPost’s Digital Postal Mail, which provides communication between verified senders and verified recipients.
They also offer digital channels for the stamp purchase, mail tracking, bill payments, donations, and other transactions.
The new system will also likely be a huge boon for the increase in e-commerce businesses as of late. The kiosks will help reduce the difficulties of bridging the online and offline realms of digital retail by allowing merchants to easily ship customer orders without having to conforms to the rigid opening times of the post office.
The global retail e-commerce market is valued at an estimated US$1.2 trillion by the Universal Postal Union. Traditional postal agencies have been aware of the potential growth that lies in delivering goods from foreign e-commerce companies for some time now.
SingPost also said that the kiosks are a key to the Smart Post Office as they provide an intermediate channel for older customers, bridging the familiarity of a physical counter to a digital interface.
“The opening of the GPO is a significant milestone in SingPost’s transformation,” SingPost group chief executive Paul Coutts.
“While the things we deliver are changing, our commitment remains the same: we deliver, come rain or shine.
“In line with Singapore’s Smart Nation drive, we are harnessing technology in our Smart Post Office and SmartPost initiatives to deliver with greater efficiency, and a better experience for all our customers, whether they are web savvy eCommerce shoppers or more traditional mail users.”
Additionally, the Smart Post Office’s cloud backbone reduces the lead time for new commercial partners to roll out billing services from six weeks to one.
The SAM omnichannel platform has won two major international awards this year.