The Royal Mail, Britain’s postal service, announced this week that it is raising the price of its first-class stamp from 46p to 60p from the end of April, which will have a major impact on organisations that still rely on sending paper invoices to their customers.
The cost of second-class mail is also jumping, this time by 39%. According to the BBC, this is the biggest annual increase in percentage terms for 37 years. In addition, the regulator has decided to let Royal Mail set the price of its first-class and business mail, so this is not a one-off increase.
The changes in the UK are not alone. The United States Postal Service has eliminated next-day deliver for first-class mail. Businesses dependent on customers accepting paper invoices are now at the mercy of slow and expensive postage from providers that are struggling to maintain their businesses.
Companies already sending electronic invoices are safeguarded here. Not only does it ensure invoices are received and processed much faster than paper, but it also guards against the impact of more stamp-price hikes and slower-moving mail in the future. The suppliers on our network can even check the status of their invoices as they get processed to see that their buyers have received them and when they will be paid without having to pick up the phone.
We agree with Paul Griffiths, Chief Executive at Northamptonshire Chamber, comment in his local paper, “Businesses should take this opportunity to seek out alternative processes and procedures, such as electronic invoicing.”