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Turning Paper Mail... Into Email

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Turning paper mail... into email. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Is it a nutty idea that belongs in the dot com graveyard? Or is it a step towards the digital future?

"Well what we do is, we allow our customers to receive postal mail via email."

David Nale heads a San Francisco based company called PaperlessPOBox.com. No matter where in the world you live, sign up with the service... and you get a P.O. Box in San Francisco. You mail is then put through scanning machines... and then emailed to you...

"It's very similar to opening a standard P.O. Box and we have customers who use their PaperlessPOBoxes for just some of their mail. And what they do is they use their home address for things like parcels and checks. But then the rest of their mail they have go to their PaperlessPOBox address."

The service launched last September and found itself with increasing numbers of customers during the Anthrax incidents. Corporations can sign up to have their mail scanned and distributed by email as well. But Nale says it is most useful for people who are constantly away from home or the office...

"People who are on the road a lot. Also people who ... companies that are based where the real estate is very expensive and they just don't want the hassle of having a large mail room. Using our solution they can make the mail room smaller and use the space more efficiently for other things."

Nutty? Time will tell. Pricing starts at thirty dollars a month for a personal PaperlessPOBox... and 130 dollars a month for businesses. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.