Amazon has begun a trial with the Italian postal service, Poste Italiane, to deliver goods from and accept credit card payments on delivery, it has been reported. As part of a test operating from 6,500 post offices, postal workers are being equipped with palm-sized card-reading devices.

The pilot, which began in February, is expected to operate throughout the year in cities and towns with more than 30,000 residents.

At present, delivery with this service is free but from next year it is likely that customers will be expected to pay.

Poste Italiane says it is preparing similar agreements with other retailers.