What is the Intelligent MailŪ Barcode ?
The IMB is a multi-service barcode that uses a four-state technology — as
opposed to the two-state technology used in POSTNET™ and PLANETŪ
barcodes — and combines the capabilities of POSTNET™ and PLANETŪ
barcodes into one unique barcode.
This unique barcode is composed of trackers, ascenders, descenders and
full bars — more commonly known as TADFs. These TADFs represent the data in
the barcode. Since more data can be encoded with four-states instead of two,
the Intelligent MailŪ Barcode is able to contain more information per given
of a Multi-Service Barcode
The IMB’s multi-service barcode offers mailers new services and improved
- Delivery point information
- Tracking via USPS ConfirmŪ service
- Move/Undeliverable–as–Addressed (UAA) information via the Address
Change Service (ACS™)
The Intelligent MailŪ Barcode promises improved readability —
particularly under adverse conditions — through the use of advanced error
correction: Portions of the barcode can be obscured, with all information
recovered during the read.
Since the IMB replaces PLANETŪ used for tracking and tricky–to–read
keylines used for ACS, all mailing services will see improvement in
Return Mail Reduction
The USPS is offering fee-free use of the ACS service with the IMB,
providing mailers a cost-effective opportunity to augment their pre-mailing
address quality processes such as CASS™ and NCOA.
Mailers will have two chances to update their records by receiving two
free electronic ACS notices. These notices contain customer move information
and are sent back to mailers when mail pieces are undeliverable due to moves
or NIXIE information (undeliverable addresses). Mailers must then act on this information by updating their records
through appropriate business responses.
The IMB not only simplifies the look of mail pieces, but it frees up
valuable real estate in the address block area. Additionally, the IMB
provides an opportunity to standardize the address block footprint across
your enterprise without having to worry about the ins and outs of various
To track inbound and outbound mail pieces, mailers can take advantage of
the USPS Confirm service via IMB, which ensures mail pieces remain uniquely
trackable through the IMB’s ID capacity.Many expect that the Intelligent MailŪ Barcode will significantly
increase adoption of track and trace services, including:
- Geographic delivery prediction (outbound)
- Mail arrival prediction (outbound)
- Cash flow prediction (inbound)
- Disconnect/termination process avoidance (inbound)
The USPS offers seamless acceptance for the induction of mailers’
prepared (presorted) mail. Whether preparing their own mail or using presort
houses, mailers will benefit from reduced paperwork and greater visibility
and transparency with the USPS.