Cyber Stamps

By Charlotte Mulhern

As the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) considers implementing its Information Based Indicia Program, which would enable entrepreneurs to generate postage in their offices, companies awaiting evaluation results expect their electronic postage products to hit the market in 1998.

*Neopost: In May, this worldwide manufacturer and distributor of postage meters and shipping and documentation equipment announced its PC Stamp, which will enable users to generate stamps using their computers.

Once users purchase postage (on the Internet or by calling the company directly), PC Stamp allows them to print out two-dimensional bar codes, also known as indicias, on envelopes or labels. The software required to use the system will be available in retail outlets or from Neopost directly; prices have yet to be determined. Visit http://www.pcstamp.com .

*E-Stamp Corp.: Designed specifically for small office/home office (SOHO) entrepreneurs, E-Stamp Corp.'s E-Stamp Soho, upon USPS approval, is expected to be the first electronic postage product on the market. E-Stamp expects the product to be available in the San Francisco and Washington, DC, areas by the time you read this.

E-Stamp Soho will allow users to download postage off the company's Internet Post Office and print postage in the form of bar codes on letters and packages to be sent. Visit http://www.estamp.com .

*Pitney Bowes Inc.: Pitney Bowes' electronic postage product, also pending approval by the USPS, is called Personal Post Office for the PC. Visit http://www.pitneybowes.com .

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