Will the stamp go the way of the horse and buggy and the typewriter?
That could be the case with a new system to be launched in Sweden and Denmark where customers pay their postage via mobile phone text message instead of stamps. The system would allow users to use codes retrieved via text message for sending letters and parcels weighing up to two kilograms.
We can expect other postal services around the world to follow suit. The reality is that people are not sending as many letter these days because of email and electronic communication. In Britain, profits for Royal Mail fell 72% because its letters business has gone into the red. It estimates that 16 million fewer letters have been sent over the last five years. And letters to Santa were down this Christmas.
Replacing a stamp with a text message is a strategy designed to ensure people will keep sending letters. Whether it will work in the face of electronic communication technology is another thing.