Royal Mail to become one of world’s first operators to add unique barcodes to stamps

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Royal Mail is adding unique barcodes to its stamps as part of its modernization drive aimed at providing innovative customer services and benefits in the future.

From March 23, the postal operator will begin piloting the new-look barcodes, which will appear on around 20 million Second Class stamps supplied to UK businesses through the retailer Viking Direct and through the Royal Mail shop

The barcodes, which will match the stamp color, will sit alongside the main body of the stamp, separated by a simulated perforation line.

Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, said, “This initiative will see Royal Mail become one of the first postal authorities in the world to add unique barcodes to stamps. By doing this, we are looking to transform the humble stamp so that we can offer our customers even more convenient, new services in the future. Royal Mail has a long and proud history of creating innovative and intuitive postal solutions. This goes all the way back to the Penny Black – which established the principle of the one-price-goes-anywhere universal service – to the recent launch of Parcel Collect, where we pick up our customers’ parcels from the doorstep. The pilot of barcoded stamps reflects our commitment to constantly evolve our products and services in line with the ever-changing needs of our customers.”

Royal Mail has used barcode technology printed directly onto envelopes and labels for some time. For many years, business customers have used franking machines to print pre-paid franking marks onto envelopes or parcel labels, as well as printing a Mailmark barcode onto letters.

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With over a decade of experience as a business and technology journalist working in B2B publishing, Hazel first joined UKi in 2011. After taking 18 months off to bring up her daughter and try her hand at marketing copywriting, she returned in January 2018 to do what she loves best – magazine editing! She is now the editor of UKi's Passenger Terminal World and Parcel and Postal Technology International magazines.

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