|Frequently Asked Questions
What is OIV Mail? How is it different from
OIV Stamped email is a message in an envelope delivered in an email. Stamped
Mail, like paper mail, requires a small payment for delivery. This makes
indiscriminate mass mailing impractical - it stops spam.
Unlike paper mail the recipient receives the postage. You get fewer
unsolicited emails and you are compensated for the time you spend looking
As a sender, you can send to strangers without creating bad feelings.
You get proof of opening when the recipient opens the mail. You pay nothing
if the mail is not opened.
How much does it cost?
Stamped Mail costs whatever postage you choose to offer the recipient plus
a small fee to OIV Mail. There are service charges when you
use a credit card or Paypal to buy Stamp credit and when you withdraw credit (see FEES).
How can I distinguish between
genuine and fraudulent Stamped email?
Spammers will always be able to create email that appears similar to
genuine Stamped Mail, but they cannot create the cryptographic information
contained in the stamp.
If you use OIV software to get your mail, genuine Stamped Mail is automatically
recognized and labeled.
If you use web based email or an ordinary email program on your
computer, the way you open Stamped Mail is to click a web link. Since this
link could point to any web site (rather than the OIV Mail server),
clicking the link in a fraudulent Stamped Mail would take you to a web page
controlled by the creator of the fraudulent Stamped Mail. This is no
different than the mislabeled web links in other fraudulent emails.
OIV Mail contains a fixed three letter code unique to you, on the
envelope. There is no easy way an outsider can know this three letter
When you use the web link method to open Stamped Mail, you should avoid
opening mail in which this three letter recognition code is incorrect or missing.
Below is a screen shot of stamped email “subject field”:
In the above screen shot “vsl” is the client code of
the recipient “email@example.com”. This client code will be the same on
all Stamped Mail sent to recipient “firstname.lastname@example.org” regardless of the
sender. The code is known only to OIV Mail System and is added to the
envelope at the time it is generated by OIV Mail System. Senders do not
know this code. Therefore, spammers and fraudsters can not trick you if you
remember this code. Once you activate your OIV Mail account, you can change
this code as often as desired and all genuine stamped emails will have the
new code as part of the subject prefix.
How do I start using OIV Mail?
When you first learn about OIV Stamped Mail by noticing a Stamped Mail
in your Inbox (Click here to see a screen shot of Stamped
Mail), and when you proceed to view the mail and redeem the stamp, OIV Mail
creates a new account using your email address as the ID.
At this point, the account is called “inactive”. You can continue to
accrue credit in this account by opening mail, but it is useful to register the account.
In order for you to use all other features of OIV Mail system (send
Stamped Mail, convert OIV Stamp credit into cash etc.), OIV Mail System
must verify your ability to access to your email address. For this
verification you must Register with OIV Mail system.
During registration process, you specify your name and choose a
password. (This password is your OIV Mail password and not related to the
password you may use for your mail server.) Note that you are not required
to use your real name.
OIV Mail System will send you an email to the address that you are
registering. This email contains a verification link which you click after
receiving this email in your web or any other mail client. When you click
the link the OIV System informs you that you have successfully activated
your OIV Mail account.
You can also manually create an OIV Mail account for a particular email
address before opening any Stamped Mail by visiting the Register page on OIV Mail website.
Which OIV Mail software
should I use?
Choice of OIV Mail software depends on how you receive your email.
In all cases you can open mail by using the web link contained in the
envelope. If you use a web based email account (such as Yahoo, Hotmail or
Gmail) or your computer does not use Windows, currently this is your only
If you currently receive email in your PC email client (such as Outlook,
Outlook Express, Thunderbird, Eudora, etc.), then you can use one of the
following OIV Mail software downloads:
OIV Mail Client Plug-ins:
OIV Mail Client Plug-ins add Stamped Mail features to your existing email
program. We recommend that you use the OIV plug-in if one is available for
your email client. OIV Mail is developing plug-ins for various popular mail
clients that allow plug-ins. Click here to learn more about OIV Mail Client Plug-ins
and to check the availability of plug-in for your mail client.
OIV Mailer application:
OIV Mailer is a stand alone email client designed to view, send and receive
OIV Stamped Mail. It has all the basic features of email clients. If you
setup OIV Mailer to receive your email, you can additionally completely
eliminate spam, and get full control of all your mail folders. Click here to learn more about OIV Mailer. Choose OIV
Mailer if you want to switch from your mail client and get all the benefits
of OIV Mail paradigm.
How do I sign up?
Visit the Register page on OIV Mail website to register and
create your OIV Mail account. During the registration process, you specify
your email address, name and choose a password. (This password is your OIV
Mail password and not related to the password you may use for your mail
OIV Mail System will then send an email to the address that you are
registering. This email contains a verification link which you click after
receiving the email. When you click the link the OIV System informs you
that you have successfully activated your OIV Mail account.
After registration, optionally download and install free OIV Mail
software (Click here to find
out which OIV software you should use?) to begin viewing and redeeming
Stamped Mail and sending Permission Mail.
Please read the answer to (How do I start using
OIV Mail?) above, also.
What types of Stamped Mail will I
The basic Stamped email first appears as a closed envelope showing the
sender name, subject, the postage value, a three letter recognition code
and the verification level. When you open it, you see the body of the email
and receive the value of the postage.
If you do not use OIV software, the body of the email is displayed in
the web browser. If you request it, the system sends a copy of the body to
your email account. (In OIV email clients, the body is displayed
immediately when you open the envelope.)
Similarly, when you compose and send Stamped Mail from the OIV website,
your email account receives a copy. Normally such a copy would reside in
the Sent folder, but because it comes from outside (from the OIV website)
it comes to your Inbox.
If you send a Stamped email, the OIV system sends you an acknowledge
email when the recipient opens the envelope and takes the postage. If you
Transfer funds, the recipient receives a notification.
Finally, if you have OIV software, you can receive Permission Mail. This
feature allows you to give senders permission for their emails to go into
your Inbox when you choose the Clean Inbox option to exclude unstamped
emails from your Inbox. This allows your known correspondent's access to
your Clean Inbox without paying for postage. (Currently, Permission Mail
and the Clean Inbox feature are available only in OIV Mailer.)
Click here to learn more about Stamped Mail and OIV
What are the various verification
The identity of senders of Stamped Mail is verified by OIV Mail. OIV
Mail assigns senders a verification level of High, Medium or Minimum
(based on what information has been verified). Minimum level means that OIV
Mail has verified the email address of the sender. Medium level means that
OIV Mail also has verified that the sender has a valid financial account
(credit card, bank account, Paypal account etc.). High verification level
requires proving physical address and phone number.
Can I change my verification level?
You can change to Medium level by doing a one time purchase of Stamp
credit of $10 or more using a credit card or Paypal.
How can I find verification level of sender?
The color of the stamp on the unopened envelope indicates the verification
level of the sender: red for Minimum,
Blue for Medium
(financial record), and Green for High
What is the catch – get paid to
open my mail?
No catch. Senders pay to prove they are serious. The OIV Mail company
takes a small fraction of the price of each stamp to provide the necessary
services (see FEES).
Recipients win by getting paid for their time
and avoiding spam. Cold call senders win by proving they are serious and
keeping the good will of the recipients. Repeat senders win because spam
filters that sometimes block their mail are no longer needed.
How do I send Stamped Mail?
Before you can send stamped mail, you must register to create an active OIV Mail account. You need
stamp credit which you collect by receiving Stamped Mail or buy using a
credit card or Paypal. You can send Stamped Mail from the OIV Mail website
or use free OIV software. Users of web-based mail service (such as Yahoo,
Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) can send Stamped Mail only from the OIV website.
When you send Stamped Mail from the OIV Mail website, a copy is sent to
your email address. Click here to learn more about sending Stamped Mail.
Is OIV Mail an anti-spam
Yes, in several ways.
Most dramatically, if you use OIV software, you can choose to receive
mail only from known friends and strangers willing to spend a few pennies.
Spammers send such volumes of mail that they cannot afford this, but for
individuals, it is insignificant. This requires setting the Clean Inbox
option which currently is available only in the OIV Mailer download.
All stamped mail shows you whether the sender's name and financial
information have been verified. You can choose not to open unverified mail,
or even set your email program to filter it.
If you use any web based email account (such as Yahoo mail, Hotmail, or
Gmail) OIV Mail is easily distinguishable form ordinary email in your Inbox
(click here to see the how a stamped mail
looks in Inbox).
Furthermore, the origin of the stamped mail has been verified by OIV
Mail and contents of the stamped mail are not visible until the
mail is opened.
It is virtually impossible for spammers to imitate stamped mail.
Therefore, you can easily ignore spam and open stamped mail only.
Why do I want to send
stamp-mail while I can send it free?
Stamped Mail proves to the recipient that you care about the mail you
are sending. Even a five word email costs more in someone's time than the
unless they are sending out many copies.
Secondly, if you are not sure the recipient wants the message, you earn
goodwill by paying for the effort of looking at it.
If the recipient knows you, use Permission Mail which is free.
Is Permission Mail same
No. It has a similar purpose, but it is managed by OIV Mail. Permission Mail
does not require the recipient to keep the list so it works from any
computer. Permission Mail uses a cryptographic code tied to both sender and
recipient, and so cannot be forged. In addition, the sender is informed in
advance whether the mail will be accepted.
Permission Mail free and is sent using OIV Mail software which is also
free. Currently only OIV Mailer separates Permission Mail from ordinary
How about mail from
family, friends, associates and a long-lost friend?
Within OIV Mail paradigm you can continue to receive mail from family
friends and associates without requiring these senders to send you Stamped
Mail. How you can accomplish this depends on which email client you are
using to receive your email. Solutions of various mail clients are:
OIV Mailer or Mail clients with OIV Plug-in:
Set the Clean Inbox option. (Clean Inbox currently is implemented only
in OIV Mailer.) Grant permission to all from whom you want receive email
and request them to send you Permission Stamp Mail. You may configure your
software to use One Time Permission Mail. In this case it sends a reply to
mail that is diverted from your Inbox by which senders without OIV software
can reach your Inbox using a two step process. (One Time Permission Mail is
not yet implemented.)
Desktop Mail clients without OIV Plug-in and Web Mail clients:
In this case you can not realize the anti spam benefits of OIV Mail. All
mail goes to your Inbox as normal.
What can I do with my
You accumulate stamp credit by opening Stamped mail. You use stamp
credit by sending Stamped mail. You can also buy stamp credit if you send
more than you receive.
If receive more credit that you send, you can redeem it as cash by transferring
to a bank account (ACH), transferring to a Paypal account, requesting a
check, or transfer it to another OIV user.
The fee for transferring to another OIV account is very low. (See
What makes OIV different?
OIV Mail is a new email paradigm. Postal mail reduces spam because of
the price of a stamp. In OIV Mail, you get less spam AND you receive the
value of the stamp.
Please click here to read more about what OIV Mail is and how
it is different from ordinary email.
What about spam?
If you receive email in PC desktop mail client (Outlook, Outlook Express
etc.) with OIV client Plug-in or OIV Mailer spam will be history. Sorry, we
cannot eliminate spam for those of you who receive email on the web but you
can still look for Stamped Mail to know what isn't spam. We are working
hard to convince providers of web mail services (Yahoo, Hot Mail, Gmail
etc,) to incorporate OIV software into their websites and totally eliminate