Secure, Effective Data Communications
New applications for tried and tested technology and growth opportunities in the mail market – how Pitney Bowes Japan is addressing the future
Founded in 1920, Pitney Bowes is best known for its postage meters. Worldwide, it serves around two million postage meter customers, and is now one of the USA’s biggest business software companies, as well as a leading global provider of customer communication technologies.
Pitney Bowes products and services allow businesses to communicate more effectively and securely, helping customers build long-term relationships and drive profitable growth.
Software technologies help businesses to streamline addressing systems, maximize cost savings on postal discounts and develop sophisticated customer marketing models, but some of Pitney Bowes’ most exciting technologies originate from its core business, the postage meter.
A postage meter is a desktop office machine that prints red stamps on letters and packages, saving employees from having to lick postage stamps, right? On the face of it, yes. But if it were that simple, postal services would have a problem: postage meter owners could print as much postage as they wanted.
To allow postal services to track – and invoice – customer postage use, postage meters incorporate sophisticated encryption technology that allows authorities to confirm that the transmission of letters and packages is being paid for. Pitney Bowes owns many patents in the area of data encryption, dating back to the middle of the 20th century.
In fact, Pitney Bowes encryption technologies are now used to print all sorts of secure documents. With fraud estimated to cost businesses and governments an estimated US$7 trillion annually, information security is a critically important aspect of data communications.
Large volumes of data require a reliable authentication process – pbSecure™
Organizations deal with large quantities of information requiring secure handling: financial accounts, brand-protected products, invoices, credit card receipts, identity cards, resumes and educational certificates. Unless its origin and legitimacy is verified, this information poses a potential threat to the security of operations and to the organization’s reputation. Manual verification is time-consuming, costly and potentially unreliable. Pitney Bowes’s pbSecure™ service works as an evidencing solution to address these concerns. It provides proof that important documents or goods have been genuinely issued, significantly reducing time and effort required for verification.
Secures documents at the point of origin with a pbSecure™ code using proven Pitney Bowes cryptography/encryption technology
- ■ Instantly verifies information offline or online via cloud database
- ■ Lowers costs by eliminating manual verification, special paper, watermarks, or printers
- ■ Improves process controls and risk management by permitting document/information creation monitoring
- ■ Mitigates legal consequences that might result from fraudulent information having been accepted as legitimate
“pbSecure has different applications in different markets,” says Glynn Brasington, President of Pitney Bowes Japan. “We see pbSecure as very useful for brand protection for parts component manufacturers so they can distinguish authentic products from counterfeits. In the airline industry, for example, this quality control is essential for safety. In the education and employment areas, pbSecure is already in use in India, where employees can verify the authenticity of degree and vocational qualifications. Additional applications are in the issuance of verifiable tax receipts such as road tax stickers, and secure insurance and delivery of prescription medications.”
Growth in Internet shopping boosts parcel and packet volumes – pbSmartLocker™
The process of person-to-person package delivery and collection can be inconvenient and time-consuming. Unsuccessful collections can disrupt the delivery’s chain-of-custody, resulting in costly re-deliveries. For large corporations with mailrooms handling high volumes of deliveries on a daily basis, manual logging for delivery accountability requires additional resources and time. In addition, packages and other important assets can get lost in the process.
Pitney Bowes has a simple answer to these problems. pbSmartLocker™ is an electronic locker system that securely stores deliveries for easy retrieval. And with dynamic pickup locations, deliveries can be successful the first time around.
- ■ Increases first-time delivery rates with convenient 24/7, 365-day access for package retrieval
- ■ Automates “last mile” of delivery to intended recipients, saving time and labor
- ■ Ensures chain-of-custody with real-time email or SMS to intended recipients upon package delivery
- ■ Option for multiple delivery locations improves cost-effectiveness
- ■ Monitors package release and retrieval for clear auditing and reporting
Enhances security by only allowing authorized personnel to place packages into lockers
pbSmartLocker™ is ideally suited for use by organizations in the financial, medical, pharmaceutical, government, higher education and manufacturing sectors, with chain-of-custody requirements, compliance issues or sensitive materials; postal/courier services that require dynamic pickup points to reduce or eliminate subsequent delivery costs; and organizations or campuses with remotely-located personnel for convenient package pickup.
“With the advent of email, person-to-person letter mail has declined,” says Michael Usami, Director, Solutions Factory Division, Pitney Bowes Japan. “But at the same time, the volume of goods being transmitted by postal and courier services has increased enormously. People are buying all sorts of things online and having them delivered to their homes. Non-delivery – when a driver has to come back two or three times to complete the delivery – represents a huge cost to service providers and an inconvenience to the customer,” Usami continues.
“pbSmartLocker allows delivery people to drop off packages securely, with the system then notifying the recipient electronically, for example via SMS or email, of the specific location of the package. The recipient can then open the locker with a unique code.”
With smart phones enabling locker activation and access, Pitney Bowes expects to see smart lockers deployed in many applications around the world over the next few years. Many network trials are already under way, for example, for parts delivery to service engineers and online book purchasing. Locker usage is well established in Japan, and it is expected consumers will welcome the introduction of conveniently located, secure smart lockers for taking delivery of their purchases.