Post Scanning Services in the UK
Post Scanning Services turn physical letters into digital files for the recipient to read online. Despite companies such as ours doing this for over 10 years in the UK, many people are still unaware of what it is, how it works and how secure it is.
What is a post scanning service?
Post scanning is the process of having letters you receive scanned so you can access them online. All post scanning services will be accompanied by a physical address for your post to be sent to.
How does it work?
So you’ll have your address - if it’s with us it’ll be one of three: a free PO Box Address; a free Royal Mail Redirection Address or a Premium London Street Address. This is what happens next:
1. New post is received to your address
2. We barcode and input every item into our mail management system
3. We then do one of three things depending on your preference:
a. Scan the envelope, leaving it unopened
b. Open the envelope and scan the document
c. Forward the physical post unopened
4. We let you know through the mobile app, by email or SMS that post has arrived
5. You can log in and decide what happens next:
a. Ask us to open and scan
b. Read the letter online
c. Request for the item to be destroyed
d. Ask for it to be archived
e. Get us to forward it to you wherever you are.
It’s that simple. Assuming you’ve got an internet connection, you can get to your post quickly and easily at anytime,from anywhere in the world.
How secure is post scanning?
This obviously depends very much on the company that’s doing the scanning. UK Postbox takes the security of your post and identity extremely seriously and we’ve invested heavily to protect you and your confidential information. We made a conscious decision to operate out of a single UK sorting and scanning facility. This means we don’t have satellite offices dotted around that we need to monitor, so we can focus on making our head office (on the South Coast of the UK), as secure as possible.
“Security Cleared Personnel Only”
Our mailroom is a “clean” environment, meaning that only security cleared personnel are authorised to enter it. The mail room is also monitored by a comprehensive CCTV system, so we can keep an eye on our team, and more importantly, your post.
Authorised Couriers Only
We’re often asked if people can collect items from us in person - and the answer is no, they can’t. We will only receive or pass letters to authorised couriers who have been pre-approved to visit the mail sorting facility.
Security of technology
Our mail management app is the market leader in both security and functionality. It runs on world class Microsoft Azure Services, is secured using HTTPS encryption technology and is soon to feature two factor authentication. We’re always looking to improve our mail management app - it’s our way of saying thank you to our customers.
Anonymity and confidentiality
People often flinch when talking about post scanning, specifically concerning anonymity and confidentiality. “What? You open my private and confidential mail?”, “I don’t want someone reading my post” etc. It’s something we’re used to hearing but our immediate response is to give it some context. We process upwards of a million letters each year; we do it day in day out, every single working day of the year. Our team are firstly very professional in what they do, and secondly aren’t interested in the contents of your mail - they’re more interested in getting it loaded so you can get to it.
We’re also governed by a number of legislations including The 1998 Data Protection Act, Money Laundering Regulations and are registered with ICO (Information Commissioner's Office No ZA038907). Within the next few months the EU GDPR legislation will replace the Data Protection Act and we’re already embracing the changes and implementing new processes to be compliant.
Hopefully all of the above puts your mind at rest that by choosing UK Postbox to scan your post, you’ll know it’s safe and secure.
How can I access my post online?
There are a few ways you can get to your post, again depending on your preference.
- Log in from a computer or laptop from anywhere
- Read your post in our mobile apps on your tablet or phone
- Link your UK Postbox account to your Dropbox or Evernote.
We try to give people as much flexibility as possible, which makes it easier for us to accommodate your way of working.
Can I get my letters by email?
You can set up scan-to-email with our service but it’s not something we recommend. People tend to think that email is a secure technology, but it isn’t. Data transmitted via email isn’t encrypted and can easily fall into the wrong hands. Whilst you can choose to have your letters sent to you this way we’d always recommend accessing them through our secure apps instead. This will give you the best protection and ensure the privacy of your mail.
What happens with parcels, you can’t scan those can you?
You’re right, parcels are tricky to put through a scanner. Instead we take a photo of the outside of the box, or of the contents, depending on your preference, and let you know something’s arrived. Much the same as letters, you’ve then got the option to do a number of things with the parcel:
- Have us forward it to wherever you are
- Ask us to open and photograph the contents so you can decide what happens next
- Ask us to open it and consolidate its contents with another parcel, reducing international carriage charges
- Request that we store it until you’re ready to receive it.
Increasingly we have people all over the world looking to buy products from the UK and have them shipped abroad. We’ve called the service UK Shop & Ship. Every UK Postbox account comes with a Courier Point Address for your parcels, so even if you only get a single parcel in a year or you just use the service around Christmas or in the sales, that’s fine by us. Just pay as you go and use it as you need it.
I’d like to find out more about mail scanning, where should I go next?
We’ve mentioned a few different services in this post, although they’re all quite closely linked to each other. If you’re looking for some additional information on any of the features or services we’ve mentioned then please follow a link below. We’re also always on hand to answer any questions you might have, so just drop us an email or use our live chat feature to get in touch.