From the franking machine to the IoT device: Francotyp-Postalia (FP) manufactures hundred-thousandth PostBase

The FP production site Wittenberge has just seen through the manufacturing of the hundred-thousandth PostBase. The large success of this franking system shows that haptic communiction by postal letter will remain part of our lives, especially as analogue comunication is more digital than meets the eye.

Berlin, 23 January 2018 – The analogue postal letter has become scarce with the introduction of cheaper digital alternatives, such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, email and other services, which allow communication in real time. But FP disagrees with those who have predicted its imminent demise: The specialist for secure mail business and digital communication processes has just manufactured its hundred-thousandth PostBase. “We are very proud that our #1 franking system is such a strong and popular competitor in the international market,” says Thomas Grethe, Head of Sales and Marketing at FP.

It seems to be an analogue franking system at first, but reveals itself as a high-tech IoT device: The franking machine primarily works online. The PostBase uses an interface to the internet not only for processing postage charges, but also for accepting orders and communicating information such as ink levels and maintenance status. It also receives online updates, for instance, on postage changes, which are automatically implemented.

Cryptography chip as key element

FP has been using cryptography since the 1980s, in order to ensure secure communication between the franking machines and the data centres. Grethe explains that “FP can guarantee a secure, authentic and reliable communication with our Security Devices (SD)”.

It started with securing the extremely sensitive money transfers from the post office to customers’ franking machines, which allowed companies to independently print postage stamps onto their postal letters. Nowadays, the security features cover a lot more than that. In order to prevent fraudulent use of the franking machines, cryptographic measures are implemented to secure various processes. More than 200,000 FP franking machines are in use worldwide, printing postage stamps to the worth of more than 1.2 billion euros annually worldwide.

Digital expertise in all product areas

Digital expertise also forms the basis of other FP product areas: For example, the technology behind the electronic signature “FP Sign” is based on cryptographic methods, in order to ensure a legally compliant and unambiguously identifiable communication. Furthermore, the engineers at FP are also developing secure hardware components with IoT compatibility for data transfer via the IoT gateway as well as hardware integration for interlinking products and systems.

In the product area “Mail Services”, FP has more than 20 years of experience in digitalising postal items, designing complete solutions for recurring communication, and controlling postal dispatching via software. Digital and analogue communication is combined to form a hybrid solution for processing incoming and outgoing mail in accordance with the requirements.

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Tel.: +49 (0)30 220 660 123


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About Francotyp-Postalia (FP)

The listed and globally operating FP group with headquarters in Berlin, Germany, is an expert for secure mail business and digital communication processes. As market leader in Germany and Austria, the FP group offers products and services in the areas “Franking and Enveloping”, “Mail Services” and “Software” for the efficient processing of mail, consolidation of business mail, and digital solutions for companies and authorities. The group achieved a turnover of more than 200 million euros in 2016. Francotyp-Postalia has subsidiaries based in ten different countries and is represented by its own trading network in an additional 40 countries. With a company history spanning 95 years, FP possesses a unique DNA in the areas of actuating elements, sensor systems, cryptography and digital expertise. FP’s global market share for franking systems is more than ten percent. Further information can be found at