A simple platform that connects businesses, authorities, and customers

It’s time we breathed some life into the letter.

Nobody knows exactly when the first letter was written – it was probably sometime around 500 BC.

What we do know is that it was carried by so-called “living letters” – humans who were asked to deliver additional verbal messages and goods.

On October 29th, 1969, the first electronic message was sent. The “living letter” was replaced with electric wires, granting the letter both greater reach and speed. Through the 1990’s, the portable document format (PDF) emerged as the favorite vehicle for critical messages. The advantage of that format was that it was tamper-proof.

The disadvantage was that the “living” aspects of the letter were replaced with an inert document.

In many cases, businesses and citizens did want to tamper with the letter. Banks used email to onboard new customers, customers used it to pay their library bills, and governments used it to remind citizens of required actions.

The PDF itself could do none of these things. Instead, citizens became workers who inspected the PDF for required actions and jumped to necessary platforms to complete tasks.

This all led to an increased administrative burden for digitally vulnerable citizens.

As Don Norman taught in his infamous book, The Design of Everyday Things, citizens should not blame themselves for design frustrations. Rather, they should point to the designer.

The living letter

Denmark is the first country to re-invent the letter.

A new platform, AMI, developed by Netcompany, allows citizens to perform actions directly within the letter: pay their library bill, sign documents, synchronize calendars, and fill out self-service forms – all decreasing the administrative burden.

The platform allows businesses to streamline the customer journey. For instance, banks can use the letter to onboard new customers by embedding self-service forms directly within the letter.

The platform also allows two co-dependent businesses to connect. For instance, a pair of hospitals, one doing an expensive operation, and one doing a prior feasibility study, can integrate their IT systems directly via the letter, saving on expensive IT integrations.

The new letter does the work typically done by citizens and businesses. And its scope is increasing.

A European sovereign identity

Your health insurance, driver’s license, passport, and credit card are all recommended letters. Until now, most of these letters were stored and sent as old types of letters. Not only were they cumbersome to store, but they were also cumbersome to update.

With AMI, recommended letters can be stored as pieces of living data on a smartphone – just like a COVID passport.

Currently, the technology is being used to create something much bigger: a digital, European wallet for all types of letters. That includes proof of national and European identities, and it will make it significantly easier to be a European. The scope of this project is huge, but it has grown from humble beginnings and a humble thought: What if we could re-invent the letter?

What is AMI?

  • AMI connects multiple services in one place
  • AMI allows businesses and customers to act directly within the letter
  • AMI stores data in a secure and GDPR-compliant archive.
  • AMI supports both centralised and decentralised services.

Would you like to know more?

Reach out to

Thomas Demant