Goodbye to stamps?

Stamp collectors beware - postage is about to be a thing of the past! That is if Sweden and Denmark get their way.

“It'll work by sending you a code to write on your letter .. stick the letter, card or parcel -- up to 50g -- in an envelope, as normal, then text-message the word 'porto' to the number 1900, and in return receive a unique code that you write where you would previously have stuck a stamp. Then pop it in a postbox as normal.”

The charges then appear on your regular cell phone bill. Denmark’s system will launch on April 1 and Sweden’s later in the year. The two countries tell Sweden’s The Local they’re confident...

“...people will continue to send letters, despite the rise in other forms of communication, and paying postage by mobile phone is seen as a way of making the process easier.”

Ars Technica reports it’s easier and just as safe, and quotes Sweden’s postmaster defending the idea, even in the age of digital deception.

“...forged codes aren't as much of a risk as they sound - they are apparently on the same level as traditional stamps.”

The coded stamps won’t cost any more than traditional ones and Popular Science thinks it’s something the “cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service might do well to consider...”

While many are agreeable to the new concept, a blogger for TechDigest jests about the possible consequences.

“...more importantly, what about getting postcards from abroad with exotic, pretty stamps? What about the poor grannies who steam off unstamped stamps to use again? This will have ramifications, people.”

So is the SMS approach a feeble attempt to keep snail mail stamps from getting licked by digital competition or is it a good idea?