The field trial of the new mobile application from Deutsche Post, called Handyporto ended in September 2008. Basically it‘s clever and simple:
If you don‘t have a stamp at your fingertips you can send a Premium-SMS. As feedback you receive an SMS with a 11-number code. That code has to be written on the letter or poscard instead of the stamp … the rest is handled by the letter distribution centers of Deutsche Post.
But there‘s a catch: the stamp for a letter costs normally 55 euro-cents in Germany – the Premium-SMS for a letter costs at least 95 euro-cents. That‘s a hefty premium of 73% or more. Regarding postcards it‘s even more: 85 instead of 45 euro-cents is 89% premium or more. The user will be additionally charged for the costs of the SMS at his or her mobile provider.
It‘s clear for industry insiders, why Handyporto may be that expensive: The Deutsche Post is treated like every other mobile service provider and only get‘s a part of the revenue share of the 95 or 85 euro-cents: Basically, the Deutsche Post has to share their Handyporto-charges with the premium-SMS-serviceprovider – in this case the shortcode-SMS-number 22122 belongs to WHATEVER MOBILE in Hamburg, Germany. Additional the Deutsche Post also has to pay some cents for the code-SMS which is send back to the user. At last – there are a lot of expenses at the Deutsche Post itself for providing the infrastructure to recognize, process and validate the Handyporto-codes.
Therefor the higher price for Handyporto is comprehensible from a business point of view. But it‘s questionable whether the user benefit is big enogh to help Handyporto to be accepted and successful.
BTW just a brief remark to the marketing specialists: Don‘t do promotional Handyporto-FlashMobs again … that‘s contrary to nearly everything a FlashMob stands for.