The German Association for Post, IT and Telecommunication (DVPT) has polled its members (enterprises and public institutions) about their planned usage of the upcoming digital paperless mail systems, E-Postbrief and De-Mail. Only 20% of the companies are considering implementation of paperless mail within the next 12 months. 23% are generally not planning any future implementation. 71% of poll participants would consider implementation, if their business partners would require paperless mail correspondence.

One third of the polled enterprises expect high costs for implementing and running paperless mail services within their existing IT structures, while 51% expect cost savings through process optimization. 52% consider a price of up to 20 Euro-cents per digital mail to be fair. Only 8% would accept a cost of more than 40 Euro-cents per digital mail.

The DVPT summarized that proponents do see digital mail to be an interesting and modern alternative to physical mail. But they feel a lack of information when it comes to data security, legal issues, cost and international compatibility of digital mail. They think it is unlikely that consumers will make the switch to paperless mail as long as enterprises and government agencies are not using paperless mail on a daily bases.  Compared to standard e-mail the consumer is facing a higher effort, and promising the safe reception of digital traffic tickets or subpoenas holds little incentive for consumers to adapt these technologies.

When DVPT asked about general acceptance 41% said that 100% data security is the main staple to success, with 67% saying that more information on data security is needed. 31.6% consider the almost instant mail delivery as the biggest advantage, and 28.9% like that the legal validity of DE-mail. DVPT chairman Elmar Müller pointed to an open question regarding representation provisions and stated that the authenticity of a user must be guaranteed by a companies security procedures, and that a correlation between user and workplace is necessary.

During last year, the DVPT featured various digital mail information events and has assembled a group of various experts, seeking the realization and implementation of user friendly solutions for politics and economy. Deutsche Post E-Postbrief is starting on July-1st and government rival project DE-mail is  expected to run by end of 2010. Both require registration with a passport and promise legally binding digital correspondence.

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