Royal Mail adds 2D barcodes to postage stamps

Royal Mail first class postage stamp with QR code
DEFINITIVE STAMP: The 2D barcodes on the postage stamps will link each one to a digital twin

Royal Mail is adding 2D barcodes to UK postage stamps that link each stamp to its digital twin and will “facilitate operational facilities, enable the introduction of added security features and pave the way for innovative services for customers,” the postal service says.

At launch users will be able to scan a stamp’s barcode using the Royal Mail app to access an exclusive video created by Aardman Animations and featuring popular Aardman character Shaun the Sheep.

“The video is the first in a series of planned videos to be released during 2022 that will allow customers sending stamped mail to choose which video the recipient can see when they receive an item of mail,” Royal Mail says.

The company is adding 2D barcodes to all its ‘definitive’ or ‘everyday’ stamps that feature the profile of the Queen.

“Non-barcoded definitive and Christmas stamps will remain valid until 31 January 2023,” the postal service adds.

“Customers are encouraged to use their non-barcoded stamps before this date. Alternatively, non-barcoded stamps can be exchanged for the new barcoded version through Royal Mail’s ‘Swap Out’ scheme.”

Emirates Post Group and Austrian Post both issued blockchain-enabled ‘crypto stamps’ with ‘digital twins’ and NFC authentication in 2021.

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