New Stamps Barcoded Royal Mail

New Stamps – Why the barcode and what is it for?


If you’ve bought some stamps recently you may have a few questions. Firstly there’s the usual price increases we seem to get regularly these days. That’s not the only change with the new royal mail stamps, though. As you may have noticed, there’s now a barcode or QR code attached to the stamp.

So what is this QR code all about and why is it on there?

Why a Barcode on New Stamps?

When I first saw the barcode feature I wondered if it had been incorporated to stop the use of fake stamps or to stop people using old ones when the price had risen. When you do a little research, though, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

The QR code or barcode is actually there as part of a new drive to revolutionise mail. It will allow Royal Mail to add some digital features to the customer experience. 

To use the QR code you will need to download the Royal Mail app and allow it access your camera. You will then be able to scan the barcode using your camera.

What Does the Barcode do?

Right now, there aren’t any usable features available. You will instead be taken to a Shaun the Sheep video which has been specially made for Royal Mail. In future, Royal Mail plan to add features which may allow you to send personalised messages to the recipient. A ‘Congratulations on your Anniversary’ message might be one example.

The barcodes will also enable the use of added security features.

Can I Swap My Old Stamps For New Ones?

If you really like the look of the new stamps and want them now – even though you may have bought a stash of the old ones recently – then the option to swap your old style stamps for the new barcoded ones exists in the form of a Stamp Swap Out form. By filling out this form you can swap up to £200 worth of old stamps for new barcoded ones. If you don’t have a printer then you can get a free form posted out to you. 

You will still be able to use non barcoded ones until the 31st of January 2023. 

Special issue stamps are not being barcoded and will stay as they are going forward. There is therefore no need to swap these out.

Stamp for the Future

We hope that this post has given you a little more information as to what the barcode is on the new Royal Mail stamps and why it’s there. There may not be many features available right now but it will be interesting to see how Royal Mail make use of the barcode going forward!  

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