Our Volly secure digital mail delivery service continues to add capabilities and partnerships which we believe will enhance its successful adoption when it launches.
During the quarter, we announced the first partner who will be part of our payment system. The ProfitStars division of Jack Henry & Associates will enable free one-click bill payments for consumers in Volly. We believe pre-bill payment on-site is a critical consumer requirement, and we are pleased to be offering it to our Volly users.
We also reached an agreement with SafeNet Inc. to enhance the security of digital mail delivery in the cloud. Additionally, we have now signed more than 50 large third-party mail service providers who will offer the Volly secure digital mail service to more than 6,000 customer companies and the consumer brands.
The positive signs that we noted in our SMB business in the first quarter continued this quarter as well. This was led by improved customer retention rates and increased placements of the Connect+ digital mailing systems globally. During the quarter, we launched Connect+ in Germany, and it was approved for placement in France beginning in the third quarter.In the U.S., we also launched the innovative mailstation2 with pbWebConnect. It is the world's first cloud-based mailing and shipping system that gives customers the ability to manage mail and packages via the postage meter or online. Customers can also gain access to special USPS discounts, not typically available through standard metering systems in addition to gateway access to a range of applications including the full pbSmart suite of digital solutions. pbWebConnect is already earning high marks from early adopters, for the convenience, discounts and the online access that it provides. We continue to generate strong free cash flow during the quarter, and we also strengthened our balance sheet through the early redemption of $400 million of debt. Let me now turn it over to Mike for a discussion about our second quarter financial results. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com
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