Hallmark US develops postage-paid card service
Hallmark's American parent company has launched the first Postage Paid Greetings card line with the US Postal Service.
The line of greeting cards has Intelligent Mail Barcode (IMB) technology that allows customers to buy them with pre-paid first-class postage. Payments are linked to cards as they enter the mail stream.
"We think this is a pretty innovative use of IMB technology," said Cindy Mahoney, VP of product development at Hallmark Cards. "The Postal Service will count the number of pieces of mail as they enter the mail stream and enable us to track it."
"It's the first application of IMB to a new product," added Robert Bernstock, president of mail and shipping services at the USPS. "It's a new tool available to all our customers, and it will help us create new products."
At the time of writing the Royal Mail was unable to comment on whether a similar IMB-style system could be developed in the UK.