RealTime IT News Rolls Out Internet Postage Service

Online postage finally became a reality Friday with's formal launch.

The company, whose service was recently approved by the U.S. Postal Service after a year of filed testing, claims more than 100,000 customers have pre-registered.

" has taken a very simple need -- postage -- and leveraged the widespread adoption of the Internet to fulfill that need," said (STMP) Chief Executive Officer John Payne.

" Internet postage is truly a revolutionary service for home office and small office users looking to save time and be more productive in their business."

Requiring no additional hardware or fees, offers clients easy access and flexibility to get their postage online by downloading free software and setting up an account. They may then print postage for any type of mail, including first class mail, Priority Mail and Express Mail.

The company offers two pricing plans. The business service plan starts at $3.99 and has a $19.99 maximum for unlimited postage. The personal service plan begins at $1.99 per month and costs $19.99 a month for 12 months and allows clients to use up to $25 in postage per month.

Features of the Internet postage service include:

  • Printing postage -- users may print postage from laser or inkjet printers Postage may be printed on all standard mail pieces, including business-size number nine, 10, 11 and 12 envelopes, and number 6 3/4 personal envelopes
  • Online addressing -- senders can print a return and delivery address on each mail piece. The online address matching system verifies the address and automatically supplies any missing information
  • Account history -- customers may view reports on purchase history and available funds for postage in the account

The news comes one day after and America Online Inc. (AOL) struck a three-year deal that will make the exclusive provider of Internet postage across the AOL network. and E-Stamp Corp. (ESTM) are the only two companies whose services have been approved by the U.S. Postal Service.