If your business uses a franking machine regularly to send large volumes of mail, you should be aware of Royal Mail’s franking machine decertification for 2023. This means that from the beginning of 2023, those using a standard franking machine will no longer have the option to send franked mail.
As of January 2020 data, there were approximately 73,000 franking machines in the UK that would need replacing. We expect this figure to be higher now. If you’re a company that uses a standard franking machine, we understand this change will feel daunting and likely frustrating, too. But, we’re here to give you all the information you need for a seamless transition.
Timeline for Royal Mail’s Standard Franking Machine Decertification
There are a few important dates to keep in mind over the coming months:
- 31st October 2022 – a new barcode will be introduced for Special Delivery Guaranteed and Royal Mail Signed For mail.
- 1st November 2022 – customers will no longer be able to add credit to non-Mailmark franking machines.
- 31st December 2022 – the last day non-Mailmark franked mail will be accepted.
- 1st January 2023 – Royal Mail will only accept mail produced by a Mailmark franking machine. Any franked mail without a Mailmark barcode will be returned to the original sender.
What’s the Difference Between Non-Mailmark & Mailmark Franking Machines?
A Mailmark franking machine from the Royal Mail is the most current machine to frank your mail. These machines will have a 2D blue barcode, which holds more information about the mail you are sending. A standard franking machine, however, will have the classic ‘town and crown’ franking mark you’re used to seeing.
How to Tell Which Type of Franking Machine You Have
If you’re not sure which type of franking machine you have, here’s an easy way to tell:
- Non-Mailmark machine: if your current franking machine prints a ‘town and crown’ franking mark, you’ll need to upgrade your machine, as this will not be accepted by Royal Mail in January 2023.
- Mailmark machine: if your franking machine prints a Mailmark barcode, this is the most current machine, and you won’t need to make any changes.
Why Are Royal Mail Phasing Out Standard Franking Machines?
Royal Mail is slowly phasing out the standard, non-Mailmark franking machines in favour of barcode technology. Mailmark machines, which feature the 2D barcode, are designed to be more efficient and more accurate when it comes to processing and sending business mail.
While it may be a bit of a pain to deal with, the decertification of standard franking machines and the switch to Mailmark franking have a range of benefits. First of all, it’ll be more cost-effective as Mailmark has access to the lowest prices for franking products and services.
It’ll also improve productivity as employees will be able to select products and services quickly and automatically, saving them time when preparing mail. Plus, the tracking and reporting of franked mail are more comprehensive, so you’ll be able to monitor usage across the business effectively.
How to Keep On Franking & Upgrade Your Old Franking Machine
If you plan on continuing franking in 2023 but currently use a non-Mailmark machine, you’ll need to plan for the upcoming change. The first step is to contact your franking supplier for further advice and information. Your supplier should be able to offer suitable solutions on a franking machine to meet your needs, including:
- Leasing a range of Mailmark franking machines so you can find the machine that is best suited to your mailing needs and budget.
- Buying a new Mailmark franking machine that can meet your needs, budget and the barcode requirement by Royal Mail.
- Offering a subscription-based solution for Mailmark Secure Print for businesses who have low-volume mailing needs.
Take a look at our mailroom solutions for more information about franking machines and how we can help your business.
Also, find out how a franking machine can improve efficiency for your business and if it’s something you should consider.