Large volume Mailers who are already processing Full-Service mailings, are likely familiar with the Postal Service®’s Seamless Acceptance program. But the USPS® has been working to expand the scope of the program to include more than large volume mailers – and has announced a proposed pricing incentive designed to encourage all Mail Service Providers to take advantage of the program as well.
The USPS® PostalPro™ website describes Seamless Acceptance as follows: “Seamless Acceptance automates the entry and verification of commercial mailings by leveraging electronic documentation, Intelligent Mail barcodes (IMbs), and information collected from handheld sampling devices and mail processing equipment scans.”
What are the benefits?
In addition to incentives around the Seamless Acceptance program, there are multiple benefits available to Mailers and Mail Service Providers who participate, namely:
- A longer mail production cycle made possible through the elimination of the verification process; instead of an acceptance clerk manually verifying a mailing, Seamless Acceptance allows the mailer to release the mail whenever they want. By eliminating the need to pad timing to ensure entry times are met, that time can instead be used for mail production.
- Reduced complexity through the use of electronic verification
- Better trend identification through the Mailer Scorecard and associated reports
- Standardized Verification and Acceptance Process
How can I participate?
In order to take advantage of these benefits, mailers must be participating in Full-Service, including:
- Submission of Mailings using eDoc
- All containers, trays, and pieces must have a unique IMb within a 45-day window
- Piece level data information must be submitted via electronic documentation
In addition to participating in Full-Service, mailers must participate in eInduction which also helps in expediting destination entry.
Prior to participating in Seamless Acceptance, mailers must first enter an intermediate stage known as Seamless Parallel. During this timeframe, traditional methods of mail verification are performed as well as Seamless verification. This enables mailers to review Seamless Acceptance data in their Mailer Scorecards without incurring additional postage.
If greater than 90% of a mailer’s eligible volume is Full-Service, the mailer is eligible to have its CRID (Customer Registration ID) enabled for Seamless Parallel. To enter the Parallel program, a mailer should inquire with their local BSC/BMEU.
There are additional criteria that need to be met to transfer from Parallel into Seamless Acceptance:
- All Seamless Acceptance error metrics are below the error thresholds
- Postal Service approval of a mailer’s process to identify count of barcoded pieces not included in the eDoc (if applicable)
- Mailer is participating in eInduction
What is the benefit of participating in Seamless Acceptance for a Mail Service Provider?
Announced on October 21, 2020, the USPS is proposing an incentive which, if approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission, would go into effect on January 24, 2021.
The incentive is set at 1/10th of a cent – $0.001 – for every eligible letter and flat of First-Class, Marketing Mail, and Periodicals, as well as BPM flats. The incentive can be claimed by the eDoc submitter that presents the mailing – regardless of whether they are a mailer or Mail Service Provider – as long as they meet the requirements of Seamless Acceptance. In order to receive the discount, the Mail Service Provider will also need to have an EPS (Enterprise Payment System) account, which will replace the current CAPS (Centralized Accounting Payment System) that is expected to retire in summer of 2021.
If your organization is considering moving to Seamless Acceptance, BCC Software has the technology to support the switch. Contact BCC Software at (800) 337-0442 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information on how your organization can take advantage of Seamless Acceptance.