If you are a business with high mail volume, there is some important news from the United States Postal Service that you should know. The USPS is revising mailing standards and procedures, and encouraging mailers to convert to full-service intelligent mail. To encourage uptake of new standard, the USPS will issue mailing credits to businesses, in an effort to alleviate the cost of the new hardware, and to encourage swifter adoption of the new procedures.
Why is the USPS giving credits?
It’s better to think of the “credit” as a “discount.” But even that term needs some explaining. The whole reason why the USPS is offering this new arrangement is because they are changing the mailing requirements to make things faster and more streamlined. One of the best ways to motivate mailers to adapt to the change is to incentivize with credit.
Beginning in January of 2014, businesses that send large amounts of mail must use the new Full Service Intelligent Mail Barcode, better known by the name IMb Full-Service. The new barcode must be in place in order to qualify for automation prices. The 10/24 barcoded label is being discontinued, and replaced by the new IMb Full-Service barcode.
What are the advantages of the change?
There are a variety of reasons why the USPS has introduced this change. Some of the most notable benefits are for you, the mailer.
- Updated and comprehensive status during the progress of shipment
- Automatic address correction and tracking information on all mail
- Annual mailing fee for permits is waived if mailers send out 90% IMb Full-Service mail.
- The USPS predicts better mailing campaign planning and approach due to improved customer response and tracking.
The USPS, of course, will gain improved tracking, scanning, identification, and processing of mail. Simplifying the mail acceptance process will also help to alleviate costly workflow bottlenecks and processing time.
How does a business qualify for the credit?
Any mailer that wishes to gain the “Full-Service Technology Credit,” also known as the “Tech Credit,” should already be a permit holder or registered mailing agent. All qualifying businesses should have open registrations and an established business location with Customer Registration ID (CRID). Qualifying mail would include first-class automation mailpieces such as letters, cards, and flats; standard mail automation letters and flats; barcoded periodicals, and barcoded bound printed matter.
Before the program begins, the USPS will provide notification to all CRIDs. Once the program is launched, the business can redeem the tech credit as a postage credit. Any eligible mailing may be submitted with the applied credit via eDoc submission on Mail.dat or Mail.XML.
How much credit will a business receive from the USPS?
Credits are based on Customer Registration IDs (CRIDs). Every CRID that sends out more than 125,000 pieces of mail annually will qualify for credit according to the following amount:
- 125,001–500,000 pieces = $2,000 postage credit
- 500,001–2,000,000 pieces = $3,000 postage credit
- 2,000,001 + pieces = $5,000 postage credit