At least one country is making postage stamps a relic of the past. The Swedish postal service is ditching stamps in favor of a text message payment system.
After mobile users send a text, they will receive a reply that includes a code to be written on a piece of mail that will represent paid postage. It will work for packages weighing up to two kilograms.
"We're very interested and are just now looking into a solution," the postal service's head of marketing and development Anders Asberg told The Local, an English-language Swedish news site.
Postal services around the world have no doubt suffered as email, SMS, and social networking make communication faster and easier. Why send a letter when an email is fast, free, and paperless? But according to The Local, mail services in both Sweden and Denmark are counting on people continuing to use the dying communication form.
The U.S. Postal Service has continued to increase its rates over the past decade. It last increased stamp prices to $0.44 in May of 2009. The USPS sought to increase the price again in January of 2011 to $0.46, but it was denied the request. Asberg, however, said the new text message system will not affect postage prices in Sweden.