The Danish National Digital Post Office.
Text: Mariano Anthony Davies
Our eBoks is in many ways the new Danish national digital post office. It is a secure electronic mailbox used to receive digital mail from the private sector, such as bank correspondence and the public authorities.
Denmark has become one of the most digitalised societies. Except for some of the elderly, who can apply for exemption, every adult has access to the established Danish digital post office called eBoks, which can be accessed through a Danish national security system known as NEM-ID. It's also good to note that when your child turns 15, they will need to have their own NEM-ID. Additionally, if you have a special needs child who cannot communicate, you will need to apply for a digital signature to receive access to their eBoks.
A physical letter has become something historical in Danish. Private and public communication is carried out digitally and eBoks has become our letterbox for all public and private sector communication.
This shift in the way we communicate that with each other has led to the closure of the Post Office service as we knew it in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Post Office in Denmark is now run by Post Nord, the Swedish postal service that incorporated Post Danmark (the Danish postal service) back in 2014.
The traditional Post Office building dedicated to postal services has been replaced in Denmark by more than 34.000 retail outlets, where citizens pick up packages. A package can be sent from these locations and picked up from one of these locations. However, packages can also be delivered to business and private addresses for a small delivery fee.
What is eBoks?
As a digitally based service, eBoks allows you to read your mail online anywhere, at any time and from any device (computer, tablet or mobile phone). Each person's eBok is linked to their Danish Personal Registration Number and is not dependent upon any form of geographical location. Furthermore, there is no charge for using this service, which has become the cornerstone of all mail communication in Denmark.
Whenever an individual's eBoks receives a new mail, the recipient also receives an email or SMS to know when a new mail item has been placed in the eBoks.
All eBoks communication is stored in each person's digital space, where it will remain unless the owner decides to delete any historical correspondence, and there is no limit to how much mail you may have in your eBoks.
Access to mails is straightforward and intuitive. This probably explains why over 5 million Danes are registered users and over 600.000 companies. This millennium service now receives more than 10 million online daily contacts, and within a six-day week, the service delivers to approximately 150 million residences and 13 million companies.
"Over 5 million Danes are registered users and over 600.000 companies."
The history of eBoks
The first marketed design goes back to 2001 and already by 2004, eBoks was able to offer a secure digital signature in Denmark. A year later, all Public Sector employees received their payslips via eBoks. By 2009, eBoks surpassed 2 million users and 3 million by 2011 – the same year that eBoks was introduced in Norway.
By the time that eBoks was introduced in Sweden in 2015, the digital system had more than 11 million users in the Nordic countries and during 2017, more than 442 million documents were sent via eBoks to 14 million people globally.
In 2018, e-Boks decided to join the United Nations Global Compact Programme to contribute to promoting positive global development. Specifically, e-Boks works with the UN Global Goals, where its focus is on responsible production (SDG 12) and a citizens' right to data protection (SDG 16), creating multiple digital mailboxes for the joy and benefit of the individual and the environment.
2019 was the year e-Boks took a massive growth leap on the international market. In Ireland, e-Boks was chosen as a supplier of public digital post, just as Greenland chose e-Boks as their supplier of digital post. Furthermore, 2019 was also when e-Boks launched a new app containing e-Boks Plus that provides users with a range of value-added services.
Less than 20 years after its launch, e-Boks now sends over half a billion documents annually.