On October 9, Singapore Post Limited (SingPost) launched its first Smart Post Office, in which traditional brick-and-mortar outlets are augmented by a digital network that offers anytime and anywhere access to postal and other essential services.
According to the press release, the General Post Office (GPO) at the new SingPost Centre mall shows the future of the post office and it will serve as the flagship of a new Smart Post Office network that will serve Singapore’s postal needs in the digital age.
The Smart Post Office is in line with SingPost’s SmartPost initiative, which exploits technology to enhance operational capability and efficiency across the entire postal operation: from collection to sorting, last mile delivery and quality assurance. The initiative will equip SingPost’s postal staff with new skills and tools for the digital age through amalgamating technologies such as near-field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), digital imaging and electronic notifications.
An enhanced self service area offers 24/7 access to new generation SAM kiosks that are part of the new SAM omnichannel platform, comprising kiosks, web and mobile apps. The aim is to place a virtual post office in the pockets of every customer to offer flexibility and efficiency that are expected by customers today.
SAM kiosks were launched in the 1990s to allow users to access postal services beyond the operating hours of our Post Offices. Since then, SAM has undergone numerous iterations in terms of features, enhancements, functionalities, and a growing base of service providers.
Re-designed and re-engineered from the ground up, the new kiosks offer a modern, user-friendly interface on high resolution, responsive touch-screens powered by Apple iPads. New capabilities have been added, including a weighing scale that helps senders determine the postage required for their mail, automated sending of registered articles, and SingPost’s Digital Postal Mail, which provides trusted communication between verified senders and verified recipients. The kiosks are a key channel in the Smart Post Office as they provide an intermediate channel for older customers, bridging the familiarity of a physical counter to a digital interface.
The new SAM platform also offers digital channels for the stamp purchase, mail tracking, bill payments, donations, and other transactions.
The different SAM channels – kiosk, web and mobile app – all share a common cloud technology backbone, enabling a common user experience across the three channels, through a common design interface, such as the use of standardised icons. Additionally, the shared cloud backbone reduces the lead time for new commercial partners to roll out billing services from six weeks to one.
The self-service area at the GPO will also house the largest POPStation (Pick Own Parcel Station) to date, with 143 lockers providing consumers control to send, collect and return their parcels at their convenience. POPStations provide a secure way of collecting parcels. Users can shop online with SingPost’s retail partners and have their items delivered to a POPStation near them for self-collection anytime at their convenience, for no additional charge.
Through Rent-a-POP, the lockers may also be used as a secure and flexible point of trade for private buyers and sellers.
Mr. Paul Coutts, Group Chief Executive of SingPost, said, “The opening of the GPO is a significant milestone in SingPost’s transformation and a fitting celebration of World Post Day. Just as it was with the former GPO at the Fullerton Building, the GPO at SingPost Centre marks the central role that SingPost continues to play in connecting people across the country and with the rest of the world. While the things we deliver are changing, our commitment remains the same: We deliver, come rain or shine.”
“In line with Singapore’s Smart Nation drive, we are harnessing technology in our Smart Post Office and SmartPost initiatives to deliver with greater efficiency, and a better experience for all our customers, whether they are web savvy eCommerce shoppers or more traditional mail users,” added Mr. Coutts.