Every time you trade at the Nairobi Security Exchange, the confirmation of your investment remains incomplete until you receive your statement from the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation (CDSC). The statement comes through a postal office address.
Similarly, an admission into an overseas university may be confirmed by an e-mail but the universities insist on sending the hardy copy by email.
“You definitely need this letter to book your student visa,” an overseas university administrator says in an e-mail reply.
For the close to one million Kenyans who enter the job market very year, the same old postal address becomes an important engagement point with prospective employer. Nearly all employers still demand the physical contact (permanent postal address) despite evolution in communication.
The Posta Corporation of Kenya, the agency which operates the rental boxes (postal addresses), still sees future in what others have dubbed the relics of the past.
In an era where people use mobile phones and interactive social media platforms to communicate or door-to-door courier delivery services to exchange parcels, Posta seems unperturbed. The agency says rental boxes remain part of its core business, adding that it expects new application for boxes in 27 counties.
“Pick yours today and enjoy the many benefits,” the agency said in an advertisement.
In keeping abreast with technological advancements, Posta has embraced online payment services, M-Pesa and Airtel Money, through which customers can pay for their private letter boxes fee.
Getting a personal box in Posta is preceded by filling up an application form that can be downloaded from its website and presented at the post office branch of choice with the applicants ID.
For customers who prefer operating virtual mail boxes, Posta has partnered with Taz Technologies to offer the M-Post service that allows clients the convenience of getting mails at the comfort of their homes or offices.
M-Post turns mobile phones into formal postal addresses. It is the innovation of Abdul Aziz Omar, 33, who was frustrated after missing out on a government job due to lack of a postal address.
“As it were, I had passed the interview and my appointment letter was in the mail box. Unfortunately, I lost my dream job since the letter had indicated that if they don’t get word from me in a week they would assume I was not interested,” said Mr Omar in an earlier interview.