Acquisition extends online deliveries

Canadian firm EPO has acquired services from e-business company BCE Emergis for $14.5m (£5.91m) in a move to strengthen its Epost...

Canadian firm EPO has acquired services from e-business company BCE Emergis for $14.5m (£5.91m) in a move to strengthen its Epost offering - a service that is responsible for delivering mail online for Canada Post.

With the purchase of BCE Emergis' online bill delivery service, (webdoxs) EPO plans to combine its existing Epost functionality with the webdoxs business-to-consumer services to allow for a single Canadian Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) system.

"This network will connect Canadian businesses and consumers by convenient online locations that include the online banking websites of every tier-one financial institution in Canada," said Roger Couldrey, president and chief executive of Epost.

Until now this market was shared between two consolidation services, Couldrey said. "By ending this fragmentation we believe we will now see a significant acceleration of consumer adoption of the new combined and enhanced service that Epost will provide," he added.

Epost's expanded service has the potential to mirror the adoption rates seen in online banking, Couldrey said.

He added that the acquisition also helps to accelerate the industry by giving companies an expanded user base of more than one million Canadians and a potential user base of close to 10 million Canadians who are already banking online.

It also gives consumers more incentive to use the service, he added. "Epost will now offer approximately 70% of the critical mailed documents in all major markets across Canada."

The technical migration which will need to happen to combine the content of the two services and make the new service available through all Epost access points will happen in two phases.

The first is a short-term six-month phase, which will be focused on ensuring that bills from both providers will be available for delivery by both services.

The second migration will take a further 12 months, in which Epost will "discuss with [its] partners how they feel the service should be incorporated into their websites".

Lindsay Bruce writes for

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