Is the USPS courier model irrelevant?
Exactly how relevant is the U.S. Post Office to the business world when it comes to payments? Not very, according to Servistree.com business users who’ve flocked to the company’s vCheck solution, enabling ready-to-print checks processed via the Web and rendering the phrase, “check is in the mail” as irrelevant.
Bypassing the traditional U.S. Postal Service, vCheck allows a payee to enter their check information securely online, instantly creating a ready-to-print PDF version of the check for the recipient business. Since it began offering vCheck to business customers earlier this year, Servistree says the technology is the fastest-growing solution demanded by customers in a variety of B2B or B2C businesses.
Servistree, an innovator and leader in the payment acceptance industry, believes the technology will be its largest-selling service entering 2012.
“Businesses today, both large and small, can run their entire payment processing operations without the need of the U.S. Postal Service,” Adam Weizer, president of Servistree said. “There are a lot of similarities to online banking, but vCheck still allows for a printable check which is important for records keeping and other accounting functions.”
Business inquiries into Servistree for vCheck have been growing especially in areas where local U.S. Postal Service branches have been rumored to be closing. The U.S. Postal Service has been talking about shutting down its Saturday delivery, which could negatively impact businesses that rely on Saturdays for check payments.
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Businesses in turn have been seeking newer ways to receive a consistent and reliable source for payments. Rep. Darrell Issa. R-Calif. and the chairman of the House Oversight Committee said recently that mail volume has dropped 20 percent during the last five years because of new technology.
There are no transactions or processing fees when businesses deposit checks through the vCheck technology. “The economy is still in a state of extreme sluggishness and it’s important for every business to get paid on time, without delays from any possible Postal Service disruptions or canceled daily deliveries,” added Weizer.
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Edited by Kevin Scarpati
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.