SINGAPORE (Oct 9): Singapore Post has launched its first smart post office at the new SingPost Centre mall.

Dubbed the General Post Office (GPO), the 5,328 sf space in the SingPost Centre at Paya Lebar is currently the largest in the country and is the first in a series of smart post offices that the group hopes to launch across the island.

The GPO, along with the systems powering the future island-wide Smart Post Office network, is estimated to cost as much as $16 million.

The GPO consists of self-service SAM kiosks, 143 POPStations – the biggest network of SingPost lockers – and customer service stations.

These services are meant to provide consumers with greater flexibility and reduce transaction time. For the first time, users can now send parcels and registered articles through the SAM kiosks — without needing to queue up at traditional customer service lines.

Through SingPost’s partnership with Western Union, remittances services are also available at the SAM platform.

According to Bernard Leong, head of post office network and digital services at SingPost, the 300 SAM platforms across the island may start accepting new payment methods early next year, including QR codes and Apple Pay.

The new SAM platform also uses cloud technology that enables a more seamless user experiences across kiosks, web and mobile applications as well as reduces the lead time for businesses to roll out billing services from six weeks to one.

SingPost CEO Paul Coutts says the GPO provides a template for other smart post offices nationwide. A spokesperson at SingPost has also shared that these smart post offices may eventually replace some of the group’s current post offices.

The $150 million SingPost Centre mall will officially open on Oct 12. Major tenants include NTUC Fairprice and Golden Village. In a bid to align itself with SingPost's digital push, the former allows customers to scan items as they shop before paying at a dedicated counter, an experience exclusive to its SingPost Centre outlet. 

The opening comes at a time when the 198-year-old postal company battles declining revenue in its postal, logistics and e-commerce segments and is undergoing a strategic review.

Shares in SingPost closed 1 cent higher at $1.26.