‘Smart’ letterboxes extended to Punggol block following pilot in Clementi
SINGAPORE — Residents from close to 100 households at a Punggol housing block will soon no longer need their keys to retrieve mail, with the rollout of "smart letterboxes" there, designed to modernise the delivery of mail, including e-commerce parcels.
- Following a trial at Clementi, SingPost has rolled out a “smart” letterbox called PostPal at one Punggol housing block
- With PostPal, residents will be alerted when they receive mail including e-commerce parcels
- They may also check the number of items in their letterboxes
SINGAPORE — Residents from close to 100 households at a Punggol public housing block will soon no longer need their keys to retrieve mail, with the rollout of "smart letterboxes" there. They are designed to modernise the delivery of mail, including e-commerce parcels.
Singapore Post (SingPost) on Friday (July 16) announced that the letterboxes known as PostPal will be available at Block 226B Sumang Lane from July 23, following an ongoing one-year trial at Clementi at Blocks 202 and 205 there that started last December.
Once residents register for the new system, they may use the SingPost mobile application to receive alerts when mail is delivered to their letterboxes. The alert also tells them the number of items received.
Residents will be able to retrieve their mail by scanning a unique QR code generated from the SingPost app at the on-site PostPal kiosk.
The PostPal kiosk will be equipped with an auto-sorting machine capable of arranging and storing mail for individual residences, alleviating postmen’ burden in having to slot letters individually into traditional letterboxes.
From Friday, residents of the block will receive flyers in their letterboxes with a step-by-step guide on how to register for PostPal and use it. The flyers will also contain a QR code with an online tutorial.
SingPost said in a press release on Friday that the PostPal kiosks in Clementi have seen a household sign-up rate of more than 80 per cent across the two blocks involved in the pilot, with 20,000 mail items delivered to residents there.
Ms Neo Su Yin, head of domestic post and parcel at SingPost, said that after receiving feedback from Clementi residents, however, the company made a few enhancements to the Punggol PostPal kiosk.
“In the past, we had a door that was moving up and down but the feedback from residents was that it was very difficult to collect their mail. So we’ve switched to a flap door (in Punggol) instead,” she said while speaking to reporters at PostPal’s launch event at the Punggol block.
She added that SingPost also improved the QR code scanner at the kiosk to allow it to work better with different mobile phones.
With the reception at Clementi — an area with more seniors — being positive, Ms Neo said that they wanted to see how the younger and more tech-savvy Punggol residents would take to using the system.
Mr Vincent Phang, chief executive officer of postal services and Singapore at SingPost, said that e-commerce deliveries are more prevalent in the Punggol area.
“As one of the youngest and most technologically savvy constituencies in Singapore, our residents frequently shop online and PostPal will be a tremendous asset to them, especially during this time when many are still working from home,” he said.
When asked which neighbourhoods PostPal would likely be expanded to, Ms Neo declined to answer but said that there would be certain factors that would have to be taken into account.
“We’ll have to consider the profile of the residents and the (population) density of the areas,” she said, adding that SingPost is holding discussions with the Infocomm Media Development Authority to determine the next locations.
Ms Tan Hui Fang, 32, a resident of Block 226B, said that PostPal will be more convenient.
“We don’t have to open up our letterboxes every day since we will be notified when our mail arrives,” she said.
Ms Tan, who works as a nurse and has two young children, said that she receives more than 10 packages — containing mostly children’s clothes and toys — a month from e-commerce firms.
She thinks that the PostPal kiosk would be able to fit all her packages and said that the process of obtaining these parcels would be simpler because she does not have to open up her letterbox and just scan and collect from the kiosk.
“I didn’t expect (SingPost) to come up with such an invention,” she added.