UK letter senders can now buy stamps online and print them out themselves.
The new service from Royal Mail allows customers to pay via credit or debit card before being allocated a unique bar code which can be printed directly onto envelopes, labels or paper and affixed before posting.
There is no subscription fee to use the service and the 'stamps' cost the same as normal postage.
Customers can choose from a full range of posting options, from First Class to international services, and can print out a variety of forms, including a Certificate of Posting and Customs forms for international deliveries.
"We have launched this service in response to demands from the general public who want to be able to buy and print their postage online, direct onto an envelope or a label," said Alex Batchelor, marketing director at Royal Mail.
"Online postage gives customers more choice and flexibility in the way they pay to send their mail.
"The service is perfect for busy people, but it is also aimed at home workers who post small quantities of mail on a regular basis as well as people who sell goods via auction websites."
Stamps were first introduced in by Royal Mail in 1840 after it was agreed that letters should be prepaid by their senders.
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