Denmark takes to texting postage

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Audio Transcript:

Marco Werman: To lick or to text? That is the question. Well, starting April 1st, the Danish Postal Service is introducing a new way to send letters and postcards. You won't need a stamp; you'll just be able to send a text message to the post office. Mortin Neilson is a spokesman for Post Denmark, he says its all about convenience.

Mortin Neilson: We've introduced this service, because we in all kinds of ways want to make it easier for our customers to send letters.

Werman: And, uh, nothing could be easier than licking a stamp and putting it on an, on an envelope. So how will be easier? How will it work?

Neilson: Well, I think we all know the situation where we have written a postcard or a letter or something like that and then we leave the stamp. So, our system will work that way, that uh you send a text message and then a few minutes later you will receive a text message back with some kind of code, with some numbers and some digits. And then you write this on your letter the same way you would place a stamp.

Werman: You know, in today's time when we send so few letters in the first place, do you think this is going to be popular?

Neilson: We are quite sure that this will be a popular service. You could say that the Danes I think, every people, but things in particular, less the physical letter, they will be sending less letters in the future. But this will be some kind of assurance that the need of a stamp will never be the question of whether or not you should send a letter or not. I think that every Dane still likes the physical sense of having a letter, of receiving a letter, and now it should be less burdensome.

Werman: Has Denmark had a history, a tradition of nice stamps, will people miss the artwork?

Neilson: I don't think people will miss the artwork. The Danish stamp tradition is very much alive and we will keep it alive. We have the traditional stamp with the picture of the queen and here in March we will introduce two new stamps, on the theme of camping life. So there is a big tradition of stamps in Denmark and that will keep on living. This will be a supplement and not a replacement for the traditional stamp.

Werman: I guess a few stamp collectors out there are not going to be very happy with the scheme. What would you say to them?

Neilson: I would say there is noting to worry about. You will still be able to collect stamps. You will still have the Danish stamp tradition.

Werman: Are you worried at all about fraud? I mean people may use the same number for many envelopes. Is that possible?

Neilson: We are not worried about that. We don't consider that to be an issue. This will be checked the same way as we check whether or not you put the right postage on your envelopes using regular stamps so we are not worried about that. Besides the Danes are very honest people so we don't consider that to be a problem.

Werman: I noticed that you are launching this new digital stamp scheme on April 1. Is that significant?

Neilson: [Laughter] You're thinking we are kind of making your April's Fools. No not at all. This is just the date that we are ready to launch this feature. There is nothing, nothing about the dates anyway.

Werman: OK. Mortin Neilson, a spokesperson with Post Denmark. Thanks so much and the best of luck with this new plan.

Neilson: Thank you. You are very welcome.