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Franking machine: How Mailmark revolutionizes franking

Reading time: 3 mins

Mailmark is a new system introduced by Royal Mail in 2014. It is revolutionary in more ways than one: as a new generation of franking mark, it replaces the traditional “town and crown” die with a barcode which helps track the mailed item with extreme precision. The 2D barcode indeed contains readable information on who sent the item, and where it is and has been on the mailing chain.  While Mailmark definitely provides many benefits to businesses, interested users will have to look for compatible equipment, or upgrade their existing one.


What is Mailmark and why it matters for your business

  • A standard defined by Royal Mail

Mailmark is a new franking standard defined by Royal Mail; although it is not compulsory for businesses, it is gradually taking over the market. It is essential to understand that Mailmark will only be accessible via a mailmark franking machine. Royal Mail has defined several requirements, such as barcode formats, which will be read by Royal Mail’s scanners to track the marked item at several key points in the mailing chain, so that businesses may know just exactly where their envelope or parcel is located in case anything happens. On their side, Royal Mail will know just who sent what to whom, any time, whenever they need to check a posted item.

  • Benefits

Mailmark is designed to provide a higher level of assurance that mail has been delivered, a more accurate indication of delivery date and to enhance internal processes. Royal Mail’s head of business development Charles Nielson sums it up nicely when he says : “If you send us 20000 items and we only see 19000, you might want to know which 1000 we haven’t seen and Mailmark gives you the chance to do that. Whereas before we could only say there were 1000 missing.”

Mailmark benefits include:

    • Price reductions: Royal Mail guarantees items send using this service will always carry the cheapest tariff available. Savings range from 1p to 2p, but they add up to the savings offered by franking. A large letter stamp will cost 62p, franking will cost 60p, and Mailmark 59p.
    • Immediate postage price change updates;
    • Faster franking, as this technique uses LAN transfers rather than phone;
    • New prepaid business reply options;
    • Online tracking reports with real time information.

Mailmark enabled franking machines and suppliers

  • Getting a compatible machine

All major franking machines providers now have Mailmark-ready models, usually among their high-range or sometimes middle-range products.

You can check our pages about Pitney Bowes franking machines, Quadient franking machines or FP Mailing to get a first overview of compatible models, or contact the manufacturer directly.

  • Upgrading an older machine

Large organizations usually rely on legacy systems which are difficult, and expensive to replace. Royal Mail is partnering with mailing houses and software suppliers to help businesses adapt their equipment to Mailmark. Although users don’t need an accreditation to use the service, there only is a select few licensed software providers which can adapt your mailing equipment, as specific barcode generators need to be programmed.