Brits warned over Royal Mail deadline to use stamps without a barcode
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Royal Mail has urged people to use any stamps without barcodes before the deadline passes.
Barcoded stamps were introduced back in February, following a successful trial, and they're designed to make deliveries more efficient and secure.
In the long-term, customers will be able to scan the barcodes in the Royal Mail app, where they can watch videos and find information about services – or even view birthday messages and greetings from senders.
The introduction of these stamps naturally means the end of 'everyday' stamps featuring the late Queen, and you've now got 100 days to get them used up.
If you don't manage to get rid of them all by 31 January 2023, then you can swap them out for the swanky new ones.
Customers will however still be able to use themed, commemorative and non-barcoded Christmas stamps after the deadline.
The Royal Mail website explains: "After 31 January 2023, regular stamps without a barcode will no longer be valid.
"You can either use up these stamps before this deadline or swap them for the new barcoded ones.
"Your non-barcoded stamps can be exchanged for the new barcoded version through the Stamp Swap Out scheme.
"To swap out your stamps, simply complete one of our Stamp Swap Out forms and send it back to us along with your non-barcoded stamps."
The new barcoded stamps have a 'digital twin' that can be connected by the Royal Mail app.
The barcodes themselves match the stamp's colour and sit alongside the main body of the stamp, separated by a simulated perforated line.
Nick Landon, Royal Mail chief commercial officer, said: "Introducing unique barcodes on our postage stamps allows us to connect the physical letter with the digital world and opens up the possibilities for a range of new innovative services in future.
"As we move to this exciting new era of barcoded stamps, please check your kitchen drawers, wallets and purses for older non-barcoded stamps and make sure you use them up by 31 January 2023," he continued.
“If you can't use them up by then, we have set up a swap-out scheme as a simple way to swap your old stamps for our new, digitally enabled ones. Welcome to the new world of barcoded stamps."
It comes after Royal Mail confirmed following the Queen's passing that stamps bearing her image would remain valid.
A Royal Mail statement said: "Following the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II, Royal Mail has confirmed that stamps bearing the image of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II remain valid for use.
"These include definitive stamps – regular 'everyday' stamps – and special stamps.
"As previously announced, following the introduction of barcodes to everyday stamps, these stamps remain valid until the end of January 2023.
"All special stamps that have already been announced will be issued, although the launch dates of some may change.
"In line with past practice, following the death of a monarch all existing post boxes will remain unchanged.
"Post boxes already in production or being prepared for installation will also retain the insignia of Queen Elizabeth II."
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Topics: UK News, Royal Family