Bonn (dpa) - New postage stamps from Deutsche Post will in future have a matrix code next to the image to make the letters traceable.

"We are consistently continuing our path of digitization," said the responsible Swiss Post Board member Tobias Meyer in Bonn.

The first such brand appears on Thursday with the inscription "digital change", a blue face symbolizes the topic of artificial intelligence.

The code is scanned at two points along the route.

This enables consumers to see in the “Post & DHL” app when the letter is in the mail center in their region and when it will arrive at the mail center in the addressee's region.

The delivery itself is not scanned - the sender cannot see via the app whether the letter has already reached the recipient.

If you want to be certain of this, you still have to send a more expensive registered mail.


This year, more brands with and without a matrix code will come onto the market, and from 2022 all new brands will have the digital symbol.

The change should be worthwhile for Swiss Post.

On the one hand, the stamps should be forgery-proof, on the other hand they cannot be used multiple times - this has been possible up to now, for example if the postage stamp was accidentally not stamped.

There are also criminals who wash the previously black ink from the stamps and sell the postage stamps illegally.

Forgeries and the reuse of postage stamps are “a massively growing problem” according to Swiss Post.

Since the matrix code stamps will also be canceled digitally in the future, multiple use is excluded.

The new stamps, which are slightly larger than their predecessors, will in future be stamped with blue ink.

This should allow the recipient to scan the matrix code after receiving the letter in order to get information about the delivery route and motif.

Post manager Meyer praises the new stamps as "attractive collector's items that now document the connection between the postage stamp and the digital age".

Every matrix code is different, which makes every stamp unique.


Deutsche Post already uses such codes for business mail - this is, for example, the imprints of franking machines, not traditional postage stamps.

The Federal Ministry of Finance is the publisher of the stamps.

Deutsche Post DHL is the licensee who sells the brands.

The former state monopoly is the market leader in Germany, and in the mail business it has a share of sales of around 85 percent.

The competitors - including Pin AG and Postcon - have focused on consignments from companies and authorities.

Swiss Post has been putting its mail business on a digital course for some time.

A new version of the mobile stamp came out in 2020.

Here, the consumer receives a numerical code via the app, which he has to write on the letter with a pen - Swiss Post will later scan this code and recognize the letter as franked.

This saves the consumer having to go to the store to buy brands.


© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210202-99-269926 / 2

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