La Poste to launch digital stamps in 2023: How will they work?

The new system will allow people to write a unique code on letters to avoid having to buy physical stamps

A photo of the La Poste logo on a large sign against a blue sky
The plan to digitise stamps is part of a wider €800million plan to modernise and digitise the post office as a whole in France
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The French postal service is to launch digital stamps in 2023 via its La Poste smartphone app. We explain how it will work.

The digital postage process

  • Using the app, you can buy postage online. 
  • You will then receive a unique alphanumeric code, 
  • You then write this code “with a pen” onto the envelope being sent (trying to be 100% accurate).
  • The codes should be “sufficiently different to tolerate small reading errors and reduce the risk of fraud”, La Poste said, but it advised customers to be as accurate as possible when copying their codes onto letters to avoid the letter not being sent.

    Postage will be available to buy on the La Poste app in 2023. Image:

    The new system will become available “over the course of 2023”, the service told The Connexion.

    Not everything can be sent using the system. It does not include parcels or post being sent abroad.

    The conditions are:

    • Only available for post being sent within France (ie from France to France)
    • Only available for letters weighing up to 20 grams

    La Poste said that it had worked with its offshoot Probayes, which specialises in artificial intelligence, to create algorithms based on cryptography.

    The system launch represents a one-off investment of €800million by 2025, it adds, dedicated to “the modernisation of [La Poste’s] multi-channel distribution system”.

    The group says it is set to dedicate €500million to the renovation of post offices, and €300million to the digital transformation of services.

    The La Poste app is available to download for iOS and Android devices. More information, and links to download it, can be found on the La Poste website here.

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