The Royal Mail has announced that it will be adding unique barcodes to its stamps.
Following a successful national trial, barcodes will now feature on regular stamps and Christmas stamps. Each barcoded stamp will have a digital ‘twin’ and the two codes will be connected by the Royal Mail App in a bid to provide additional security features and improve the customer experience.
How the barcoded stamps will work
With the new system, the barcodes will match the stamp colour and sit alongside the main body of the stamp, separated by a simulated perforation line.
The barcode will form an integral part of the stamp and must remain intact for the stamp to be valid.
Can I still use the ‘old’ stamps?
Non-barcoded stamps will be phased out but will remain usable until 31 January 2023, with customers being encouraged to use their non-barcoded stamps ahead of this date. After this date, any post that uses non-barcoded stamps will be liable to a surcharge as it will be deemed as the equivalent of having no postage.
Alternatively, non-barcoded stamps can be exchanged for the new barcoded version through Royal Mail’s ‘Swap Out’ scheme, which is due to begin on 31 March 2022.
To swap stamps, customers will need to complete a form which will be available via a variety of channels, including the Royal Mail website or by contacting the Royal Mail’s Customer Experience team. Customers will be able to use a Freepost address to send any non-barcoded stamps back to the company, to be swapped for the new style stamp.
The Royal Mail website states that the ‘unique barcodes will facilitate operational efficiencies, enable the introduction of added security features and pave the way for innovative services for our customers.’
To find out more about the new barcoded stamps, customers are invited to watch and share an exclusive Shaun the Sheep video via the barcode itself using the Royal Mail App.
In the first of a series of videos, Shaun the Sheep and his flock star in a mischievous and amusing short encounter with Rita, a hard-working Royal Mail postie, who senses tomfoolery is afoot from Shaun and his four-legged friends.
You can buy the new barcoded stamps at the Royal Mail website.