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Neopost Online and Northrop Grumman Get USPS Approval to Test World's First Self-Service Kiosk for Online PC Postage.

Business Editors

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 26, 2001

Neopost Online Inc., an Internet-based postage and shipping solutions provider, and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), a world leader in electronic systems, integration solutions and postal automation, today announced they have received U.S. Postal Service (USPS) approval to test the first browser-based self-service kiosk for online postage in the United States.

The kiosk-based Simply Postage(R) solution is a joint development of Neopost Online and Northrop Grumman's Automation and Information Systems Division.

Neopost Online, a leader in the online postage category, will power the kiosks with its proprietary browser-based Simply Postage technology and integrate it with Northrop Grumman's kiosks, which are widely used by both foreign and domestic airlines to dispense e-ticket boarding passes for travelers.

The kiosks will include a touch-screen computer monitor, a credit card reader, and an integrated printer. Pending final approval by the USPS, the companies intend to place the kiosks in high traffic retail locations.

"As leaders in online PC Postage(TM) technology, Neopost Online is committed to finding creative applications for the category," said JP Leon, Chief Technology Officer for Neopost Online. "These kiosks complement our technology well and present the type of commercial application we are looking for."

The Simply Postage kiosks offer cost effective advantages over traditional stamp vending machines that require substantial security and high maintenance. The kiosks are enabled by the Internet to print postage on demand through a secure online postage environment.

The kiosks use Neopost Online's proprietary secure self-adhesive labels, which have no monetary value, thus eliminating the need to tightly control and manage intrinsically valuable preprinted stamp inventories. Postage dispensed from the Simply Postage kiosks offers the same convenience of regular stamps, which may be used any time and anywhere.

"Our online self-service kiosks have successfully been integrated worldwide for retail and commercial solutions," said Paul Freedman, Director of Postal Systems for Northrop Grumman. "By integrating Neopost's software, this solution translates into convenience for the consumer."

Initially, the kiosks will dispense first class postage. Future plans for the kiosks include adding a scale, which will allow consumers to calculate exact postage for letters and packages.

Northrop Grumman's Automation and Information Systems (A&IS) Division, a business unit of the company's Baltimore, Md.-based Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector, provides advanced integrated systems solutions for mail and parcel sorting and delivery and material handling applications.

A supplier for the U.S. Postal Service's mail automation program since 1989, A&IS currently provides solutions such as mail item retrieval systems, automated flats sorting machines and integrated sortation systems for delivery and returns processing.

Based in Redwood City, Calif., Neopost Online is a subsidiary of The Neopost Group, the second-largest mailroom equipment provider in the world, and the leader in Europe.

With more than 70 years of experience, The Neopost Group, headquartered outside Paris, France, is a pioneer in the introduction of electronics in the postage and shipping industry. The Neopost Group has customers in more than 70 countries and is listed on the Paris Stock Exchange.

Note: PC Postage is a trademark of the United States Postal Service. PC Postage products are U.S. Postal Service approved products offering electronic alternatives for postage purchase and printing.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 26, 2001
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