Royal Mail updates licences for address database

The Royal Mail is updating its Postcode Address File (PAF), the UK address database that contains over 28 million addresses, and has published new licences which will come into effect from 1 April.

Direct marketing and data capture companies and mail order and online retailers use the database to make contact with consumers, and will need to update their licences to have access to the PAF.

Using the new licences, the organisations will be able to choose the most suitable terms of access to PAF to meet their individual business needs, through a move away from pricing based on the number of systems accessing PAF to user-based pricing. Royal Mail says this will help to provide greater simplicity and transparency

PAF contains all 28 million UK residential and business delivery addresses and postcodes. The new licences have been developed following a consultation with existing PAF users and resellers, and aim to provide a clearer and fairer licence for all users.

Royal Mail says the price changes being made are revenue neutral for the company and do not affect consumers who want to check or search for a postcode.

Licensed PAF® users will be able to buy unlimited blocks of transactions for internal use, or can operate on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ basis.

Miranda Dodd, head of Royal Mail’s Address Management Unit, says: “We have listened to feedback from PAF users and believe the new licences offer a fairer and more flexible approach which reflects the needs of the current marketplace and the wide range of organisations where PAF now forms the core of their operating systems. In particular, we wanted to make it simpler and more cost effective for small businesses to access PAF, and also encourage new users, through lowering the entry price for smaller users.”

Royal Mail Group made a £184m profit for the first half of the financial year, 4% up on the same period last year, despite a £73m drop in revenue.

It recently offered advertisers a 20% discount on direct mailings in an attempt to increase use of the channel.

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