Introduction of yellownet (e-finance)
Swiss Post harnesses the opportunities afforded by increasing digitization – whether for its internal work processes or for new services. In 1998, PostFinance launches “yellownet”, making it one of the pioneers of electronic asset management.
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The history of digitization begins in the 1930s and 1940s, when the binary system consisting of ones and zeros is invented. This forms the basis for the first computers. The PTT is open to the new technology, which promises higher productivity: from 1957 on, the PTT uses the first commercially available computer in Switzerland. In 1967, it brings an electronic data center on stream in Ostermundigen in the Canton of Bern – the biggest and most powerful data center operated by a public company at that time. In the early 1980s, the regional postal directorate initiates the use of electronic data processing. The number of computers in use grows steadily, including in operations. The locations become increasingly connected by networks.
Postal transactions anytime and anywhere
Swiss Post also harnesses technological options to develop new services. This includes the field of payment transactions: in 1988, it introduces the Postomat Plus Card, Switzerland’s first debit card with an integrated chip, which can be used for cashless payments in many shops. Ten years later, with the introduction of “yellownet”, PostFinance is one of the pioneers of electronic asset management (e-finance). In 2010, PostFinance is the first financial institution to launch a free app with a payment function for the iPhone. In 2014, it launches TWINT, Switzerland’s first integrated payment and shopping app. And since 2019, it has been operating Valuu, the first fully digital mortgage platform.
In its other business units, Swiss Post also develops a growing number of digital services in the 2010s, making it possible to track consignments in real time or to manage their receipt. Parcels can be dropped off or collected at My Post 24 terminals around the clock. And anyone who doesn’t have a stamp to hand can have one delivered via SMS code. The new digital services meet the needs of many customers looking to carry out their postal transactions wherever and whenever it suits them.
Mail secrecy in the digital world
Swiss Post wants to guarantee the principle of mail secrecy in the digital world, too. As a trustworthy carrier of sensitive information, it develops digital solutions for companies, public authorities and citizens. One example of this is the electronic patient record, a platform that connects patients with healthcare professionals and institutions.
History of PostFinance: https://www.postfinance.ch/de/ueber-uns/unternehmen/geschichte.html
Swiss Post’s strategy from 2021: https://www.post.ch/en/about-us/profile/strategy
Walter Knobel, Swiss Post (ed.): Gelb bewegt. Die Schweizerische Post ab 1960, Bern 2011.