My translation and comments
In the USA, a service called Stamps.com is using an account-driven setup to turn your printer in to a franking machine (postage meter). This is by you purchasing postage through their Website in a prepaid manner and printing this on to envelopes after you weigh them on postage scales that you buy from Stamps.com. This solution initially needed an application but is now available through a Web-driven setup and is intended to be available through HP ePrint as a printer app.
Here, the ePrint solution will allow for a “walk-up and buy” arrangement where you can purchase the postage and print it on to your envelope or sheet of paper using your printer without the need for your computer to be on.
Now the post offices in Germany and France have set up “print-and-post” prepaid-postage setups for customers in those countries and have established HP ePrint apps for distribution there. These will be interlinked through portals set up by the relative post offices and has been launched on the 28 September in the Post-Expo trade fair in Stuttgart, Germany.
It will of course be interesting to see whether Royal Mail, Australia Post or other post offices will head to this concept of “print-and-post” postage sales in their territories.