Whatever be the transaction, purchase of a property, applying for a loan or creating legal documents, customers and clients get levied a set of processing fees. One of these is franking charges. Interestingly, the term franking originates from the French word ‘Affranchir’, which means ‘free’.
The British House of Commons during the 1660s demanded free carriage for letters sent to members. This was, in return, met with the establishment of a post office. They later went on to become an integral part of the 17th-century infrastructure of England.
The meaning of franking today
The concept of franking has changed over time. Today, franking documents using franking machines is a mode of attaching the stamp duty. Essentially, an authorised bank or an agent certifies the document.
The franking charge is a preset amount paid to an authority for stamping. In reality, the process takes place after stamp duty. The franked documents then look like non-judicial eStamp papers.
When should one frank the documents?
Once the customer has typed out all the required details and information on the documents, they need to frank them. Customers typically filled an application form with all the franking details. Once done, they were to approach the franking authority. Franking can also happen through banking institutions.
Banks are allotted a limited franking quota. So, customers can visit authorised bank branches at a specific time or approach an agency for franking the documents.
Now, with the gamut of franking machines, much of this physical commute and waiting time is saved. With this, let’s proceed to get to know franking machines.
What is a franking machine?
A franking machine helps ease your worries by printing the required postage on the envelopes, postcards and adhesive labels, and other parcels. This process of postage is known as franking. All franking machines today come with a Royal Mail license.
As a business or corporation, when you intend to pay for the postage on your outgoing mail, you get to add the company logo and message on the parcel, letter or packet. This avenue is trans-promotional marketing. The phenomenon is later below.
What is franked mail?
A franked mail has a printed postmark instead of a stamp. It saves time and money for you. Also, it gives you a sophisticated and professional-looking mail piece. This postmark is directly printed onto your letters, envelopes or packages. It saves you the hassles of sticking a stamp.
Benefits of using a franking machine
At the outset, the considerable benefit of franking machines is that they remove the element of estimation and guesswork. That is, there is no room for under- or over-stamping. This advanced piece of equipment, the franking machine, makes postage a convenient endeavour.
1. Automated system
The system is automated, and hence always gets you the correct postage and stamp each time you send a parcel. Franking machines today are integrated with a rate determiner that studies the parameters of your package and decides the appropriate postage.
What’s more, it is product-based. That is, you can send anything via parcel, and the franking machine shall take care of it. You can send letters, clothing, books, shoes and other items.
Specific parameters, including weight, size and thickness, help determine the cost of franking. So, you need not worry about anything! The franking machine takes care of it all.
3. Cheaper postage
A franking machine eliminates the costly surcharges that are levied by Royal Mail. Another benefit is that you get to save on inefficient trips to the post office.
So, this also saves on travel and the cost of commuting. Plus, the franking machine provides usage reports, using which you can do the cost accounting of your franked parcel.
4. Good for Business
Franking machines go beyond just stamping and postage. There are sophisticated systems that can take care of both your direct mail and transpromotional marketing requirements. And the best part? With this, the total cost of ownership is low. These also offer affordable colour printing jobs.
Using colour and visuals, you can brand your parcel by adding your company logo and details. This way, the franking machine becomes a low-cost marketing tool. Also, the recipient gets a personal touch through the presentation.
5. Delivery and tracking
Today, franking machines offer delivery options. Depending on the urgency of the document and agreement, you can choose franked mail to expedite your mailing. This service is suitable for high-priority business posts.
What’s more, you can track the package. Some franking machines, especially the advanced ones, come with a slew of services.
For instance, you can track and monitor all the delivery information, including images of recipient signatures. All these informational pieces are then securely stored in the cloud.
Other sophisticated systems come with a touch screen that rotates and adjusts for optimal viewing. Such systems render additional benefits of accessibility and comfort. Also, there are descriptive prompts and buttons for easy navigation.
Having a franking machine is like having a post office in your workplace. It saves crucial time by offering immediate access to postal products and options. So which one should you choose? The most crucial aspect is the mailing volume.
As a thumb rule, businesses with a mailing volume of around 1000 letters a month should go for a low-volume franking machine. The medium-volume one is ideal for sending 1000 to 3000 letters a month. And finally, the large size is best for over 3000 mails a month.