Important changes affecting franking machine users this year
Two important changes that affect franking machine users happen this year. Franking machines that don’t use Mailmark®, the most up-to-date franking impression from the Royal Mail, are being phased out and a new barcode is being introduced for Special Delivery Guaranteed® and Royal Mail Signed For® mail. This blog outlines what is happening, provides an overview of Mailmark, and explains why making the switch will benefit your business. It also provides links to Quadient support.
What is happening and when?
There are two important dates to note:
- 31 October 2022: a new barcode is being introduced for Special Delivery Guaranteed and Royal Mail Signed For mail
- 31 December 2022: the last day for non-Mailmark franked mail because standard franking machines are being decertified.
A new Special Delivery Guaranteed and Signed For barcode
Currently, senders of Special Delivery Guaranteed and Royal Mail Signed For mail must attach separate, coloured adhesive labels to their items after paying postage through their franking machines.
These labels will no longer be used after 31 October 2022. From 1 November, the printed Mailmark franking machine mark will need to include a new barcode which carries additional information. Further details on this can be found on the Royal Mail website.
Quadient’s latest IX range of Mailmark franking machines will print the new barcode, making the Special Delivery Guaranteed and Signed For process simpler, but standard franking machines and older Mailmark machines won’t.
Therefore, franking machine customers planning to send Special Delivery Guaranteed or Royal Mail Signed For mail after 31 October will need to do so from a Mailmark franking machine that supports the new barcode.
Royal Mail franking machine decertification
From 1 January 2023, Royal Mail will no longer accept mail from standard franking machines. This is known as decertification.
It means that Quadient’s standard franking machine customers, who plan to continue sending franked mail after 31 December this year, will need to switch to an IX Mailmark franking machine which already utilises Mailmark.
Some customers still have older machines from earlier ranges. If you’re unsure which type of Quadient machine you have, you can talk to us. You can also find out how to identify your machine type from the meter impression it makes in this Royal Mail guide to decertification of standard franking machines.
What is the difference between franking and Mailmark franking?
Mailmark® from the Royal Mail is the most up-to-date franking impression. Its 2D blue barcode carries more information about the item being sent. Non-Mailmark franking machines use standard ‘town and crown’ franking marks. These are the ones Royal Mail will no longer accept from 1 January 2023.
It has been decided to decertify the older standard because all Royal Mail products are moving to barcode technology and Mailmark provides the most accurate and efficient way to process mail.
What are the benefits of changing to a Mailmark franking machine?
Mailmark provides a range of compelling benefits, which is why businesses in their thousands have already made the switch. As soon as you are using Mailmark, your business will benefit from:
- Cost savings: Mailmark provides access to the lowest prices for Royal Mail franking products and services. Since the 4 April Royal Mail tariff change, Mailmark franked 1st and 2nd Class letters sent inland have been 17p cheaper, compared to buying stamps
- Productivity: being able to select Royal Mail products and services simply and automatically saves time whilst preparing outgoing mail. With Mailmark, you can upload credit as and when you need it for efficient postal charge management
- Tracking and reporting: you can track postage spend and monitor usage across your business for comprehensive spend management and reportingProfessionalism: you can add your company logo, slogan or message, to the meter impression that your Mailmark machine prints onto envelopes. This helps increase company brand awareness and convey the right professional look through your outgoing mail.
Are all Quadient franking machines Mailmark?
Quadient’s latest franking machines are fully Mailmark compliant and provide advanced features, together with outstanding support.
A Quadient franking machine makes processing your outgoing mail cheaper, quicker and easier. It gives you access to Royal Mail Mailmark franking discounts of up to nearly 29%, compared to using stamps. You also save time calculating the right postage and can recredit your postage meter and manage your account from your desk.
Where to find support
Help is at hand to support you through this year’s franking machine changes. We have a page dedicated to your questions about decertification. If there’s anything you need help with, just let us know.
You can also find out more about the advanced features of Mailmark franking machines and how they can help your business get the most value from franked mail, simply take a look at Quadient’s franking machine range.