Mobile Barcode Incentive (Postage Statement Clarification)
As we told
you in an earlier E-tip, the Postal Service™ is again offering the Mobile
program, although this time it is called the
and Personalization Promotion. The incentive
period began on July 1, 2012 and
runs through August 31, 2012. This incentive is for mailers who include mobile
(2-dimensional) barcodes or equivalent print technology in or on certain
mailpieces. The incentive and the regulations have changed a bit since last
year's incentive, so mailers need to pay close attention to the changes. One of
the significant changes is how the incentive appears on postage statements
both hard-copy and on PostalOne!
- and those changes are causing quite a bit of
confusion in the mailing industry.
Hard-Copy Postage Statements
In 2012, the United States Postal Service® (USPS®) made some changes to the
format of the postage statements
to accommodate incentive
and discount programs.
The reason for this is that they plan to offer more types of promotions in the
future, and wish to have a more generic method of reporting these on the postage
statement forms. The USPS plans to offer both flat rate incentives/discounts and
"percentage off" discounts in these future promotions. The postage
forms now have Lines 3 and 4 on the first page to accommodate the future flat
rate incentives and fees. The percentage off discounts, such as the Mobile
Commerce and Personalization Promotion, are NOT populated on Line 3 on the first
page of the postage statements
. Rather, these percentage off discounts are
populated in the Discounts columns on the subsequent pages of the hard copy
. This is causing confusion, as most mailers were expecting to
see the discount reported on the first page of the statements
, as it was in
PostalOne! Postage Statements
To add to the
confusion, the PostalOne!
dashboard does not display the Mobile
Personalization Promotion discount until the postage statements
are finalized by
the USPS. This is an unfortunate change in that there is no way for mailers to
know whether the discount has been correctly applied until after the statements
are finalized. This makes it even more difficult to make any corrections if
there are problems with the discount because the statements
finalized. Plus, it added a great deal of research and trouble-shooting to a
time-strapped industry, only to discover that the discount was never intended to
be displayed until statement finalization.
issue is even more problematic in the Testing Environment for Mailers (TEM) side
In TEM, the Mobile Barcode incentive does not appear on the
dashboard or the statements at all, even if mailers ask PostalOne!
their test statements. This shortcoming makes it almost impossible for mailers
to test their files in advance of mailings that are claiming the incentive, or
to try to trouble-shoot any issues they may have with trying to claim the
These concerns regarding the
postage statements and PostalOne!
issues have been shared by the mailing
industry with the USPS in the MTAC PostalOne!
User Group, and it is likely that
the USPS will be making some revisions to these processes in the future to try
to eliminate some of the confusion. We will keep you posted as to the progress
of these efforts.
The requirements for the Mobile
Personalization Promotion were published in the
3, 2012 Postal Bulletin
. For more details, consult the USPS
on RIBBS, or
the USPS 2012 Mobile Commerce and Personalization Promotion Program Requirements
. Mailers may also send concepts and mailpiece mock-ups via email to
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