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Royal Mail adds barcodes to stamps for first time

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 17/03/2021 Michael Cogley
qr code: The new stamps will have a barcode alongside them - Royal Mail © Royal Mail The new stamps will have a barcode alongside them - Royal Mail

Royal Mail is adding barcodes to second-class stamps for the first time as part of a trial it says will help modernise the service. 

The barcodes will first appear on 20m second-class stamps that will be sold to business customers from March 23 through Viking Direct and Royal Mail online.

The postal service claims the codes will “pave the way for innovative customer services and benefits in the future”.

Among the new features could be the ability for customers to scan a stamp with their phone and be redirected to a website with more information about a company. 

A spokesperson for the Royal Mail said they have yet to decide what the codes will be used for and will be testing various applications.

The barcodes are the latest in a line of efforts to help modernise Royal Mail. In October, it launched a parcel pick-up service that allowed postmen and women to collect returns from customers on their daily rounds.

Royal Mail also established a partnership with a host of drone companies to deliver parcels by air.

Nick Landon, the chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, said the new barcodes will make the company one of the world’s first to add the identifiers.

timeline: Royal Mail timeline © Provided by The Telegraph Royal Mail timeline

“By doing this, we are looking to transform the humble stamp so that we can offer our customers even more convenient, new services in the future,” he said.

“Royal Mail has a long and proud history for creating innovative and intuitive postal solutions. This goes all the way back to the Penny Black which established the principle of the one-price-goes-anywhere universal service – to the recent launch of Parcel Collect – where we pick up our customers’ parcels from the doorstep.”

Royal Mail is also expected to launch a trial of Sunday parcel deliveries in a bid to take on Amazon. From next month, parcels will be delivered across the country seven days a week.

Royal Mail was privatised by the coalition government and floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2013. ​

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