REDMOND, Wash., October 20, 1999 — As the holidays approach, many consumers are beginning to dread one of the season’s biggest traditions — lining up at the post office to mail those last-minute cards and gifts.
But holiday crowds at the mailbox may soon become a thing of the past. E-Stamp, the Internet Postage Company, has a new online postage solution — based on Microsoft Site Server Commerce Edition and the ClearCommerce Merchant Engine — that enables consumers to print their own postage without making a trip to the post office.
E-Stamp, the first company to sell postage commercially over the Internet, takes the hassle out of buying stamps. With E-Stamp’s Internet postage system, consumers can now purchase, download and print postage right from their PCs. The system consists of user-friendly software and a small device called an “electronic vault” that attaches to the back of a PC. This device, roughly the size of roll of stamps, securely stores postage once it has been downloaded from the Internet. Users can print the postage they need at any time, from the convenience of their home or office.
Users can print stamps from standard word-processing and business applications. The postage can be printed onto envelopes, labels or directly onto documents using standard laser or inkjet printers without the need to remain connected to the Internet. E-Stamp Internet postage verifies the mailing address and prints a unique digital stamp, enabling more efficient delivery. The company has worked with the U.S. Postal Service throughout the development of the new system to ensure its safety and security.
E-Stamp chose Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition as the foundation of its system because of its reliability and scalability, as well as its openness to best-of-class enhancements.
“Using Microsoft’s design architecture gave us the ability to quickly deploy and easily expand the site as our needs change and grow,”
said Martin Pagel, chief technology officer for E-Stamp.
The system also uses the ClearCommerce Merchant Engine, which integrates seamlessly with Site Server, because it provides secure online transaction capabilities while processing up to 40 transactions per second. The ClearCommerce Merchant Engine also has the most advanced fraud protection on the market.
The complete E-Stamp solution retails for $49.99 and includes user-friendly software, an electronic vault, and a kit with documentation, labels and envelopes.