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It's meant to make transactions in USPS lobbies quicker

The United States Postal Service (USPS) isn't exactly the face of "tech savvy," as it is still largely thought of as a physical mail-only type of service. But it's making small tech strides, with the most recent being a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) system. 

According to Postal News, USPS started testing the mPOS system during the holiday season at 50 facilities in the U.S. Over that time period, it processed 102,000 transactions. 

The USPS' new tech consists of a modified iPod device, a receipt printer and a postage printer. The idea is to get customers in USPS lobbies taken care of and out the door faster. Employees simply greet the customers with the handheld device, process their transaction and send them on their way. 

With the new equipment, USPS employees can scan package pickups as delivered, scan and accept prepaid packages and sell Priority Mail flat-rate postage as well as stamps, ReadyPost and other retail products. 


[SOURCE: Postal News]

Customers can pay right on the mPOS system as well, swiping credit cards and non-PIN debit cards right on the iPod device. From there, customers can choose to accept a physical receipt from the mobile printer, or punch in their email address for a digital copy. 

Around this time last year, USPS said it wanted to be more digital-friendly, but noted that this is easier said than done. Paul Vogel, president of digital solutions at USPS, said he had limited resources to work with, including an office like "a San Jose startup," only 15 Android/Apple developers, consultants coming and going, one computer and his BlackBerry smartphone.

Another major obstacle is legislation needed to get permission for new digital products. Also, USPS has a huge instruction manual for just handful of current products. Adding digital products and security certifications would turn that 1,500 page book into something unimaginable. Furthermore, USPS had losses that amounted to $16 billion in 2012, and there are legislative proposals to keep making cuts. It even tried to axe Saturday mail deliveries last year in an attempt to save money, but Congress later killed that idea off

Despite USPS' difficult journey of getting with the digital times, it's at least making efforts with the mPOS system. No one likes a long line at the post office. 

Source: Postal News





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