Schimek applies his 26-plus years of mailing industry experience to provide product management and strategic direction for Quadient’s mailing business, formerly known as Satori Software. As Senior Director of Postal Affairs for Quadient, Bob Schimek serves as primary liaison between Quadient and USPS on technical matters affecting the company’s mailing solutions, which include CASS and PAVE certified software, integrated 48-month NCOALink processing and post-sort solutions.
In our last newsletter we covered a major change that will affect everyone in the mailing industry who pays postage or associated fees to the Postal Service. The Postal Service has announced that they are actively migrating customers from the legacy CAPS (Centralized Account Processing System) system to their new Enterprise Payment System (EPS). If you have not already been contacted by your local district to migrate, plan on hearing from them in the very near future.
The new EPS will require every business mailer to establish an Enterprise Payment Account (EPA). There are several steps involved to migrate. The first step is to request enrollment which includes receiving an invitation code. Since this migration deals with real money, it is important that the correct person at your business is creating and configuring your EPA account, which is the purpose of the invitation code. You can request your invitation code from your local BMEU (Business Mail Entry Unit) or from Postalone@usps.com. Some customers have noted that it could take a couple days up to a couple of weeks to receive your invitation code and get access to the new system.
As with any new system, as customers actively start to migrate, some problems have been found and reported. It is important to note that postage calculation, payment, and reporting of postage dollars is all working correctly. Some issues have been reported around piece counts being duplicated in the EPS reports. This can create some reconciliation issues when attempting to align the EPS data with internal accounting and billing systems. While the Postal Service is actively working on getting these issues corrected, some of them will not be fixed until the late-September to mid-October timeframe. If you are actively working on migrating, or have already completed your migration, it would be good to reach out to your local district contacts and request a list of known EPS issues. It’s important to understand if known issues are going to impact your business. Some of the known problems do have work-arounds, so if you are impacted, a temporary work around can be identified.
MTAC (Mailers Technical Advisory Committee) Work Group #173 has been actively involved in working with the Postal Service through the design, testing, and deployment of EPS. WG173 meets every other week and tracks, actively reviews, and discusses known issues. You do not need to be a member of MTAC to participate in these calls. If you or someone at your company would like to participate, a request to be added to the Work Group can be emailed to James.M.Duffy2@usps.gov and email@example.com.
Another important EPS related date to be aware of is starting October 1, 2018 you will no longer be able to request a new CAPS account. All new accounts moving forward will be required to be setup in EPS. So if you have someone at your company that creates new CAPS accounts for your company or your customers, they need to begin the process of moving to EPS.
Now that customers are actively being migrated to EPS, the Postal Service will soon set an official date where the existing CAPS will be discontinued. The timeframe and length of the transition window is still unknown until the official CAPS retirement date has been set, but early indications are alluding to an April 2019 timeframe. As a reminder, the migration from CAPS to EPS does not have to be done all at once. The transition can be done a single permit or CAPS account at a time, so now would be a good time to begin the migration process and start getting familiar with EPS. For additional information on the details involved in the migration, go to PostalPro and search on Enterprise Payment Account Creation for a Fact Sheet on the process.