Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Self Faded Malaysia ATM (Variable Value) Stamps?

ATM gradually faded, period stored approximately 1 year (from 30 Dec 09).

Newly purchased ATM to show the original condition of the label (21 Oct 10).

I purchased the top two ATM labels when PAM (Postal Automated Machine) was launched end last year in GPO, KL. I am not very sure what is the actual reasons that promote the fading of the label. I stored 2 sets separately in the small packet, one pack together with the "Printed Receipt" generated by the PAM machine (which is a thermal paper similar to fax paper). Another one without the receipt. 

The pack without the receipt that intact with the labels still in good condition, whereas the other was not. I strongly believe it was due to the thermal paper. Not on UV light, humidity, acid on paper or improper storage. The printing of the thermal receipt paper faded badly as the labels.

Some countries used high quality paper for printing "Variable Value" stamps (ATM), which it can withstand longer period without conservation. I am not sure the quality of paper that Pos Malaysia used. Time will proof this and definitely it can't last forever like stamp as the printing mechanism is different. 

I'm tempting to keep the receipt as a proof of purchased, where it clearly described the transaction date, time, branch Id, machine Id, quantity and amount paid. I shouldn't keep it together with the labels. I worry this small receipt will lost. So I packed it together. Bad decision, only realized after 1 year.

For ATM collectors, it is advisable you keep the thermal receipt far far away, if you intend to keep them for future reference. For sample receipt, you can read my article written last year at below:

Anyway, I am not fancy on ATM stamps, I'm not chasing the new machine implemented at which post office, or for the error and varieties. I wasted almost RM30 on my initial purchased. To avoid total lost, I try to use it for normal mailing. But high value like RM1 or RM2 is almost hard to find opportunity to post locally.

On the last part of this posting, I share some of my own observation of the design of these label. In my opinion, I find it not too practical due to the size are too large to be pasted on the small cover. The design shouldn't have "Circular Postmark" image printed onto the label. This make the mailing processing staffs confuse whether to cancel the label or not. I did a study on this, out of 10 covers I posted back to myself, there are 30% of it is not cancelled. If you used together with conventional stamp, the staff only cancelled the stamp but not the ATM label. Further education and awareness are needed within the Pos Malaysia staffs or perhaps change the design to avoid public reuse the label and causing revenue lost.

Lastly, the design look very plain, if pictorial motif is apply, these labels will be more interesting and colorful. My next article will show you the Royal Mail UK recent released on "Post and Go" birds pictorial ATM labels. 

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