Software and hardware services company Pitney Bowes last week launched Volly, a cloud-based digital mail communications platform that allows customers to receive, view, organize, and manage bills, statements, direct marketing, catalogs, and coupons from multiple accounts via mobile device, tablet, or computer desktop. Consumers can also pay bills online.
This single application is an opt-in service that will be made available to consumers in the United States in the second half of this year.
Volley aims to provide consumers with a secure, organized, electronic means of communication that is spam-free. Pitney Bowes hopes to provide high-volume mailers with an opportunity to expand consumer options while also giving mailers the chance to integrate with their existing physical mail processes and reduce operating expenditures. Pitney Bowes envisions helping mailers, billers, cataloguers, and government agencies reduce market time and provide additional resources by initiating the electronic relationship with consumers.
Forrester Research released a report in November 2010 entitled “Paperless Plight: Growing Resistance Outpaces Adoption Among U.S. Bank Account Holders,” outlining consumers’ growing dissatisfaction with organizing paper bills. Pitney Bowes’ research determines that high-volume mailers can spend between 50 and 80 cents to print and mail a paper statement, while the same statement sent electronically can cost between eight and 15 cents.
“These new platforms are a powerful form of customer communications management that spans a consumer’s physical and digital world,” said Pete Brasiliere, research director of Gartner, in a statement. “With a mutually managed experience, both the mailer and the consumer have control. They require contextually aware content around transactions, promotions, and consumer preferences; and work best when presented with a look and feel that’s native to the desktop or handheld device.”
Similiarly, Jeff Hayes, president of Infotrends, asserted that bureaus and high-volume production printers need to expand their offerings to provide both physical and digital personalized communications. “The key area for investment is software, particularly products that can be embedded in the existing workflow to simplify the implementation process and accelerate new revenue streams,” he said in a statement.
Pitney Bowes generates the postage labels for millions of eBay shipments every year and handles all American change of address forms on an outsource basis for more than 40 million moves annually.