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What Is Mail Scanning and How Does It Work?

February 15, 2023 | 3 min read

In the digital age, mail scanning has become an efficient way to receive mail without actually accessing your physical mail in person.

Mail scanning services work by having mail sent to a physical mailbox. Then, at the request of the mailbox renter, the mail is scanned and uploaded digitally so that they can read it.

In contrast to mail forwarding, mail scanning instantly offers access to postal mail via a phone or laptop app. Often, mail scanning is part of what a virtual mailbox service does, along with forwarding mail and packages, shredding, recycling, and mail storage.

Let’s explore the benefits of mail scanning, how it works, and how you can get started.

What Is Mail Scanning?
  • Mail scanning uses computer technology to capture, store, and manage physical mail data and convert them into digital files.
  • Mail scanning helps businesses and organizations by automatically sorting mail, significantly speeding up the mail processing time. This frees up resources and capital for more critical tasks.
  • The filtering capabilities of mail scanning protect users from wasting time with unsolicited messages and scams.
  • Shredding services are available, ensuring that sensitive information is quickly and securely destroyed after a piece of mail is scanned.
  • Mail scanning helps organizations reduce paper-based costs and protect communication security.
  • Digitized mail data can be easily stored and used for archival purposes.
How Does a Mail Scanning Service Work?

Most mail opening and scanning services are straightforward to use.

A service provider will physically receive mail on your behalf, open and scan mail pieces, then forward them to you in digital format. With mail scanning and a virtual mailbox, the provider does the following:

1. Scans Your Physical Mail
  • Mail scanning involves using specialized high-speed scanners to capture and convert physical mail data into digital files. These scanners are equipped with automatic sorting, batch processing, and barcode scanning to ensure that captured mail is accurately scanned and processed quickly.
  • Some scanners provide additional features such as optical character recognition (OCR) for faster text detection, image editing capabilities, and security measures such as encryption.
  • Modern mobile phones now come with camera features like edge detection technology that ensures a quality image. An iPhone is enough to deliver mail scanning for the majority of people and uses. Virtual mailbox operators provide postal mail scanning services using only smartphones as they are capable of delivering quality scans.
2. Delivers Your Mail to a Virtual Mailbox
  • After the scanned inbound mail is captured and processed, it is delivered to your virtual mailbox in a secure, encrypted format. You will receive a notification via text and/or email.
  • Your digital mailbox is an electronic archive for all incoming items, giving you quick and easy access to all of your present and past mail.
  • You can remotely access your virtual mailbox anytime, anywhere, from any device with mobile data or WiFi.
3. Filters Out Unwanted Junk Mail
  • Mail scanning technology also allows you to filter and sort unwanted junk mail. Through advanced algorithms, at your request, this technology can automatically detect and discard mail that is not relevant to your preferences or interests.
  • With optical character reader (OCR), it can also detect certain words or phrases commonly found in spam mail. This allows you to enjoy a more efficient and clutter-free mail experience instead of spending hours sorting through junk mail.
4. Offers Secure Mail Shredding
  • Mail scanning providers also offer secure mail shredding that you can initiate from your mobile device. This protects your confidential information by securely shredding documents containing sensitive data, such as bank statements or personal health documentation.
Access Your Scanned Mail in your Virtual Mailbox

A virtual mailbox gives you the freedom to access your scanned mail digitally. Anytime. Anywhere.

You can opt to easily read and file away scanned paper mail documents from anywhere in the world. For people who often travel, a virtual mailbox is a lifesaver.

Students attending college out of town, individuals taking extended vacations, professionals who are frequently on the move, and those starting a business can all benefit from a virtual mailbox. Anyone will find managing postal mail via an app convenient and practical.

If any of the above sounds familiar, or you’re just looking to streamline your life and make getting your mail much safer and more efficient, consider a virtual mailbox.

The easiest way to set up a personal or business virtual mailbox is through Anytime Mailbox. With over 2,028 locations and rates as low as $5.99 per month, Anytime Mailbox is an exceptional mail scanning solution.

To learn even more about mail scanning and virtual mailboxes, check out Anytime Mailbox.