Mailings are a great way to reach customers but sorting and sending them can be a hassle. This is not only true for mailers, but also for the USPS® when it comes to mail verification. The primary USPS verification method requires a physical review of a sample mailing to confirm that it has been properly prepared. Over the last several years the USPS and industry have been collaborating to reduce the USPS costs for verification. With Seamless Acceptance, the verification process is streamlined, paperless and utilizes data from USPS operations to determine the quality of the mail preparation. Seamless Acceptance removes many of the manual verification steps. While Seamless Acceptance can decrease the overall verification cycle time, there are additional requirements to consider. Pitney Bowes is here to support mailers with these new processes and help reduce postage adjustments.
What is Seamless Parallel?
Detached Mail Unit (DMU) mailers and Full-Service mailers that drop mail at a Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) are required to participate in a transition process, which begins with Seamless Parallel and ends with Seamless Acceptance.
On June 1, 2020, the USPS automatically moved mailers into Seamless Parallel. During Parallel, both traditional USPS verifications and Seamless verifications will be performed. Mailers are given a trial period to review their Seamless Acceptance data, access discounts and gain experience using the automated mailing process.
What is Seamless Acceptance?
Seamless Acceptance leverages electronic documentation (eDoc) and Intelligent Mail barcode (IMb™) information collected from handheld sampling devices and mail processing equipment scans to automate the entry and verification of commercial mailings.
Information obtained during Seamless Acceptance allows the USPS and mailers to answer three key questions:
- Have all mail pieces been paid for?
- Have all of the mail pieces been paid for correctly?
- Is the mailing prepared correctly?
Changes to Expect:
- Postage Adjustment – Quality metrics will be accumulated on a monthly basis. If errors are over a certain threshold at month end, a mailer will have to pay a postage adjustment.
- Mailer Scorecard – Through an online reporting system, each mailer can view their mail quality metrics, diagnose errors and implement changes. The verification is no longer prior to submission, so mailers cannot make corrections to physical mail. Seamless mailers will have to monitor their Scorecard and implement quality process changes to avoid month end postage adjustments.
- Implementing a Scorecard and Postage Review – Seamless mailers must ensure that they have a robust quality program in place to ensure mailing and eDoc accuracy. They will need a person with technical skills to review and manage the mail quality data downloads and to review their scorecards. Reviewing scorecards will require technical skills that their current staff may not have.
- eInduction – The electronic Induction (eInduction) process simplifies the induction of drop shipments and expedited plant load mailings by leveraging existing eDoc, Intelligent Mail Container barcode (IMcb), and handheld scanner technologies to verify payment and preparation of commercial mail containers. This eliminates the need to print multiple USPS shipping forms to be saved and then shared amongst postal clerks, trucks, etc. Please note: eInduction is a prerequisite to Seamless Acceptance and will be required with the switch to Seamless.
- Loss of DMU – The current role of on-location DMUs mailers will become redundant as mailing will be verified electronically. The USPS will retire manual verifications at the DMU on May 1, 2021.
- Changing at the BMEU – Manual verifications will be discontinued for Full-Service Mailings at the Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU) on July 1, 2021. Full-Service mailings that are dropped directly at the Business Mail Entry Unit after this date will use the new Seamless Acceptance verification method. These mailers will be required to use the Mailer Scorecard to monitor the quality of their mail and pay a postage adjustment at month-end if over any of the error thresholds.
- June 1, 2020 – Mailers began participating in Seamless Parallel.
- May 1, 2021 – All mailers with an authorized DMU are required to enroll in the Seamless Acceptance Program.
- July 1, 2021 – All BMEU entered full-service mailings will use the automated sampling and verification processes as manual verifications will be retired.
Presort Services is available as a resource:
The conversion to Seamless Acceptance can take up to six months and may require additional resources. To take advantage of this new automation process, we recommend beginning preparations now. Our nationwide network of 40+ operating centers have already converted to Seamless Acceptance, and we’re always available to help you navigate this change. We’d be happy to be your single trusted partner for mailing services.
If you have additional questions, please contact your local Client Service Manager or sales representative.
To learn more about Seamless Acceptance, review The Publication for Streamlined Mail Acceptance for Letters and Flats (Pub 685).