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Study on the Future of Mail and Transaction Documents Out

Press release from the issuing company

(Norwell, MA) July 15, 2003… CAP Ventures, Inc., the leading worldwide strategic consulting and market research firm for the digital business communications and e-business technologies revolution, announced the release of a new multi-client study entitled “The Future of Mail and Transaction Documents.” CAP Ventures’ study provides document technology vendors, service providers, and organizations or businesses with critical information to guide the development of product and service portfolios related to transaction documents and direct marketing. The study was prompted by changes in business communications in late 2001 when direct mail volume dropped and the market experienced some increased interest in Electronic Bill Payment and Electronic Bill Payment & Presentment. This study provides a long-term view of where these applications are headed and the investments that companies will make. The study examines the issues behind the technologies, such as online bill presentment, online bill payment, the rise of a new set of standards for information interchange, and changes in the available print technologies, as well as how consumers are reacting to them. The study also looks at how transaction documents and direct mail distribution patterns are impacted by the increasing pervasiveness of the Internet as a business tool. Why is this important? 23% of the volume currently produced in data center and transaction print environments is statements and invoices, and an additional 20% is direct mail. Direct mail volume in the printing industry is one of the few applications that might generate continued growth. All of these prints represent opportunities to migrate some print to e-delivery, to add marketing messages to e-delivered and printed documents, and to fine-tune and manage document output. “Our overall conclusion is that paper-based communication will remain strong in the near term, but it will decrease as consumers become more comfortable with using the Internet,” commented Charlie Corr, Group Director at CAP Ventures. “Paper-based transaction documents will remain relatively stable with some slight declines, while direct mail print volume is forecasted to increase.” From the consumer's perspective, there are questions of convenience, accountability, and security acting as barriers to adoption of Web-based communications. The research is quite clear that consumers have a strong preference for direct mail over other forms of direct marketing and that they prefer highly personalized information. CAP Ventures' study also provides information on how businesses and end-users plan to leverage the current infrastructure and business processes to more effectively utilize the Web and print. Companies plan to offer more personalization and produce more color prints. They will continue to integrate marketing messages into transaction documents and pursue integrated marketing campaigns that use print and the Web. The study also examines the attitudes and investment plans of service providers. Service providers plan to invest in high-speed digital color and identify growth in offering more personalization services and expanding the services they offer to clients. The study also investigates the impact of the anthrax contamination of the U.S. mail and the possible impact of any future terrorist attacks. It examines security concerns and the impact they have had business plans relative to the creation and distribution of mail and transaction documents. “A key finding is that there is still significant concern about the security of the U.S. Mail," Mr. Corr stated. "Even though more than a year has passed since the anthrax contamination shuttered a number of postal facilities, users are still keeping an eye on the mail system and their local post offices. In addition, another terrorist act could well destabilize the market.” CAP Ventures’ research consists of personal, Web, and telephone-based surveys with 326 consumers over the age of 18 who pay bills. Respondents represent all regions of the U.S., all income brackets, all age groups, and both sexes. The research also included responses from 327 document owners and buyers of transaction document services, 152 responses from document owners and buyers of direct mail document services, and 421 service providers. CAP Ventures’ results are statistically valid, +/-5% at 95% probability. Within the group of consumers who participated, we identified two sub-groups: those who access the Internet from home and those who do not have an Internet connection at home. The complete report is available immediately. For more information, please contact Stewart MacDonald at (781) 871-9000, ext. 175 or via e-mail at [email protected].

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