The last time I went to a post office was more than a decade ago. I doubt I would even remember our postal address. When I say “our”, I mean a couple of close families who used one postal box to receive mail because sharing boxes was something that was, and still is very common in our society. We were like four families receiving a lot of mail at the same time. Each family had its own key to the box, and each was free to visit the post office at their own discretion.
The concept of privacy did exist those days. Electricity bills, bank statements, school result slips, driving licenses and all kinds of documents belonging to different people would be in the box. While sorting through the pile, one was bound to get curious and snoop through the mail that didn’t concern them. I remember this one time when one person disclosed the contents of another person’s electricity bill and how they had been falling behind on their payments. Harsh words were said, and it was decided that we needed to part ways. Which in hindsight made a lot of sense since the annual charges for a post box is Ksh. 2000.
But now, postal services are far cheaper and more private than before.
Safaricom and Postal Corporation of Kenya announced the beginning of their partnership on the 29th of November. The collaboration dubbed MPost, will facilitate the creation of five million digital post office boxes. The purpose of MPost is to spearhead digitization in the delivery of goods and services in the postal industry. With Posta’s 625 outlets around the country and Safaricom’s 34million customers, MPost will provide the convenience that has been nonexistent in Kenyan postal industry for a long time.
To register for the service, Safaricom users can dial *234# or visit mpost.co.ke. While in the registration process, customers will have the option of picking a post office most convenient for them by keying in the postal code. Should customers decide to change their preferred post office in future, they can easily do so on the same platform for no additional cost, a process that wasn’t particularly easy in the past. MPost will cost the customers Ksh. 300 annually.
Government data shows that more than 4000 driver licenses are returned after every two months from the post office due to owners not being aware that the licenses have been sent. MPost is set up in such a way that customers will get an alert on their phones whenever new mail is ready for picking up. MPost digital box addresses will be in the format of; P.O. BOX 254XXXXXXXXX where XXXXXXXXX denotes the customer’s mobile phone number.
Customers will also have the option of their mail being delivered to their doorsteps. This service will be offered for an additional fee depending on the geographical location.