A large stack of cardboard boxes, with barcodes on envelopes and a cylinder are sitting inside a door of an office

USPS Postage Meter compliance is coming: are you ready?

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has set the timing for the new mandatory IMI postage meters. This change concerns any organization that uses postage meters and may require the upgrade of current postage equipment.

Let’s take a closer look.

What is happening and when?

On June 30, 2024, the USPS will decertify IBI (Information Based Indicia) postage meters. If you have one of these meters, it will need to be upgraded to the new IMI (Intelligent Mail Indicia) standard.

Decertified postal machines are to be removed from use by December 31, 2024.

At first, it might seem like there’s plenty of time. Financial and technology considerations may, however, make this time frame a little tight. Equipment upgrades and leases may take some time to work out, specifically concerning device costs and upgrading lease commitments.

And the new IMI postage meters have different technology requirements than previous IBI devices.

The difference between IBI and IMI postage meters and considerations moving forward

IBI postage meters were introduced in 1999. They produce two-dimensional barcodes as well as human readable information.

The newer IMI postage meters were introduced in 2013. They feature modern barcode technology that captures and communicates more data.

But here’s a key element of the new IMI devices – they need to be connected to your network/online at all times. The devices provide the USPS with real-time transaction data and deeper transaction detail to support automated postal operations and increased data security.

IMI meters also automatically calculate the correct postage for every package, so there’s no need for overspending with additional postage “just to be sure.”

Ultimately, these postage meter upgrades have to be done. The time to evaluate how it will integrate into current network systems is now. Budget planning and looking at how best to manage the necessary cost of upgrades makes now the best time to act, to prevent hurried decision-making.

Benefits of IMI postage meters and upgrading now

Compliance-mandated upgrades may not make decision-makers smile but the IMI devices do bring several immediate and cost-saving benefits to consider.

  • The new IMI devices eliminate overspending on postage.

  • Accurate postage increases mail delivery efficiency.

  • The IMI barcode contains more data for faster claims resolution.

  • Lower overall mail costs with automation replacing many manual mail preparation tasks.

  • Greater data security with FIPS 140-2 Security Level 3+ standards.

How to upgrade your current postage meter

If you are a Ricoh customer, please contact your representative. We have developed programs to facilitate the transition to the new IMI postage meters.

For organizations looking for optimized mail solutions, including new meters or alternatives to the possible burden this USPS mandate may present to you, we invite you to call and speak with one of our representatives. Our experience with these devices enables us to work with you to develop customized plans to keep your mail moving.

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