RealTime IT News

E-Stamp, Stamps.com Trials To Enter Final Phase

Online postage providers E-Stamp Corp. and Stamps.com have received approval from the U.S. Postal Service to enter the final phase of an online postage trial.

Both companies are participants in the U.S. Postal Service's online postage initiative, Information Based Indicia Program (IBIP). The companies provide electronic access to digital postage for mailing customers and also offer commercially developed products to aid customers in printing postage using personal computers, or PC Postage products.

"The U.S. Postal Service is preparing for the national launch of its Information Based Indicia Program (IBIP) and is looking forward to bringing postage to people's homes and businesses through PC Postage solutions," said Roy Gordon, program director for U.S. Postal Service Information Based Indicia Program.

E-Stamp Internet Postage allow customers to buy, download and store postage to their PC and to control when and where they print stamps, without having to connect to the Internet.

Internet users who want to participate in E-Stamp's final phase of beta testing may sign up at E-Stamp's Web site. E-Stamp's service is slated to officially launch nationally this summer.

San Mateo, Calif.-based E-Stamps is a privately held company with several partnerships including Microsoft, Compaq, Yahoo!, Avery Dennison and America Online.

Stamps.com said its approval means the 500 customers testing its system will begin the third and final phase of market trials for its software-based Internet postage service.

For the final phase of testing final phase in the IBIP program, Stamps.com expects to increase its user base by 1,000 additional small and home offices across the testing area, including the Washington, D.C., area and all of California.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Stamps.com is also a privately held company with partnerships including AOL, Avery Dennison, Peachtree Software, and Westvaco. Companies with investment stakes in Stamps.com include Brentwood Venture Capital, Chase Capital Partners, Intel Corp. and Vulcan Ventures.

Users interested in participating in the Stamps.com Beta test in California and in areas of Washington, D.C. can find information at the company's Web site.

"We are pleased to provide more small businesses with our solution and we continue to work towards commercial approval of our server-based solution that does not require the installation of a hardware metering device on every user's PC," said John Payne, Stamps.com's president and chief executive officer.