USPS encourages mailers to use electronic documentation

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WASHINGTON - The U.S. Postal Service is making every effort to help its 2.5 million business mail customers switch from hardcopy postage statements to a seamless, electronic acceptance method designed to improve efficiency and maximize ease.

According to an announcement made at the quarterly Mailers Technical Advisory Committee meeting at postal headquarters, all business customers--small, medium and large--can now submit postage statements electronically and gain online access to postal accounts in PostalOne, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"By encouraging the electronic submission of postage documents and providing online access to permit and account information, the postal service is working to meet the growing business needs of its customers," said Susan Plonkey, vice president of customer service for the USPS. "This electronic documentation, or e-documentation, provides the greatest flexibility and ease to customers."

The move will also save at least 15 million pieces of paper in postage statements, according to the USPS.

PostalOne is an electronic suite of services that links a customer's mailing information electronically with USPS acceptance, verification and payment systems, eliminating most of the paperwork. Large business mailers previously used the system.

Postage statements and supporting documentation submitted electronically are sent directly to the USPS' Business Mail Entry Unit, using Postage Statement Wizard (part of the PostalOne services), Mail.dat or Web Services.

Mail.dat is one of two ways PostalOne offers to process medium- to high-volume business mailing information, directly from a customer's computer. The system is used across the mailing supply chain and throughout the industry. Web Services resides on a company's computing platform and uses the company's existing systems to retrieve and store data.

Customers can rely on the USPS' IT help desk to make the transition to the electronic systems. Customers also can call the PostalOne Help Desk at 800-522-9085 for assistance.

Electronic documentation is one way the USPS is working with the mailing industry to make mail acceptance and induction easier. Several workgroups composed of USPS employees and industry representatives have been working together to find solutions. These workgroups report findings and make recommendations through MTAC.

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