UPU launches API to ensure address data quality

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The Universal Postal Union (UPU) has launched a new Address Verification Application Programme Interface (API) to ensure address data quality for trusted deliveries.

It is an easy and ready-to-incorporate solution to acquire address data at the point of input and to check that data against the UPU’s worldwide POST*CODE DataBase, which includes information from 192 member countries and 38 territories and is updated quarterly, with updates dispatched to the UPU’s licensees via a file transfer protocol platform.

“In addition to checking address components against the POST*CODE DataBase, [the API]also checks against derivative databases, such as postal addressing systems, the standardized address format description and knowledge center information, such as postcode length and postcode format,” explained Luc Hauss, addressing solutions manager.

The Address Verification API complements the UPU’s existing application programming interfaces, which are currently available for international address input and international address verification at postcode (ZIP code) and locality level or both. “Twenty years of expertise have gone into developing UPU’s APIs, which incorporate the comprehensive ‘must have’ postal address file reference data,” Hauss added.

The API uses the knowledge acquired through the development of the UPU’s S42 international postal address components and templates standard (the ISO 19160-4), which comprises a generic list of address elements used in the UPU member countries, and a package of country-specific templates telling users how to transform address elements into an accurately formatted address, according to Piotr Piotrowski, manager of addressing standards, IT and data products, UPU.

“In other words, a country defining its S42 templates provides precise information about its address elements and formats. This can then be incorporated into software programs to manage addresses,” Piotrowski adds.

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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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