Truck_-_High
Digital Mail Models: The Solution is a Platform, not a Destination
Jay Maller
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Gone is the era when all bills and correspondence were delivered to your mailbox by the USPS in a little white truck, but we haven’t yet reached an age in which digital mail has effectively replaced physical mail. This leaves today’s consumers stuck in the middle, piecing together a hybrid of physical and digital mail, which adds a great deal of complexity to their already hectic lives. Four models have tried to solve this problem, but only one has the potential to change the status quo.

This is because solving the digital mail dilemma requires a shift to thinking about mail as a process, not just a digital replacement for a piece of paper. The process begins when mailers send content to consumers, and that individual must receive, sort, manage, take action, and archive that information. For bills and statements, payment processors complete the process when they send a payment to the mailer on behalf of their customer. If digital mail is going to succeed, all three participants (mailer, consumer, and payment processor) must find compelling value propositions that drive them to adopt digital.

During the past 20 years, four primary digital mail models have entered the market. Those include Biller Direct, Consolidator, Secure Email, and Digital Post Office. Let’s look deeper into the reasons why all but one model – the Digital Post Office – fail to deliver a compelling enough value proposition to mailers, consumers, and payment processors.


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Comparison of the four digital mail models and
how they meet each stakeholder’s requirement

The Biller Direct Model

The scavenger hunt.

Gone is the era when all bills and correspondence were delivered to your mailbox by the USPS in a little white truck, but we haven’t yet reached an age in which digital mail has effectively replaced physical mail. This leaves today’s consumers stuck in the middle, piecing together a hybrid of physical and digital mail, which adds a great deal of complexity to their already hectic lives. Four models have tried to solve this problem, but only one has the potential to change the status quo.

This is because solving the digital mail dilemma requires a shift to thinking about mail as a process, not just a digital replacement for a piece of paper. The process begins when mailers send content to consumers, and that individual must receive, sort, manage, take action, and archive that information. For bills and statements, payment processors complete the process when they send a payment to the mailer on behalf of their customer. If digital mail is going to succeed, all three participants (mailer, consumer, and payment processor) must find compelling value propositions that drive them to adopt digital.

Mailer benefits:

  • Maintains existing or builds payments market share
  • Facilitates lower, electronic payment processing costs
  • Drives time-on-site for consumer engagement and connectivity
  • Maintains existing or builds payments market share
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